Rafa Benitez left Liverpool back in the summer of 2010 (as we remember) basically because he was being messed around by the two American owners at the time Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who seemed to be at Liverpool to see how much money they could make for themselves from the club.
That may not be totally accurate, but that’s how we remember it.
Rafa had done very well in his six years at the club and was absolutely loved by the Liverpool fans and still is – but he doesn’t like to be messed around either – we knew that before he joined Newcastle 13 months ago.
There’s an exclusive report today in the Liverpool Echo and it’s an interview with the then Liverpool Chairman Sir Martin Broughton, who was brought in during April of 2010 to find new owners for the club .
Liverpool Chairman Sir Martin Broughton – circa 2010
The former Chairman in his interview goes into great detail about how annoyed Rafa was with the whole situation.
We were going to split the interview up – it’s a long read – but here’s the whole lot because Broughton does make some interesting points.
Here’s what he said as reported in the Chronicle today:
“I never wanted Rafa to go.” “The one thing I did not want to do was to sack Rafa.” “And the reason for that was nothing to do with my relationship with Rafa.”
“The reason was that I felt the right people to decide who the new manager should be, or that it should be Rafa, were the new owners.”
“The wrong person to decide that was me, who had been brought in to find a new owner on a temporary basis.” “So I was very clear in my position that Rafa stays.”
“On the Saturday, in his pre-match chat with the TV, Rafa said: ‘I don’t understand what is going on here, the new Chairman has been here nearly two weeks and I’ve not even met him yet!’”
“I thought: ‘Hmm, I see the tone of things now!’”
“But I still didn’t want him to go. I’m used to people playing silly games at times, so I thought let’s keep it straight.”
“We had an interesting thing where I did then meet with him, and I had a two-hour download from Rafa, without being able to get a word in, where he told me what was wrong.”
“That was fine, get it off your chest, it’s not a complaint at all.” “I like to hear his version.” “I then had another meeting with him maybe a week later, and got the same two-hour download.”
“I kept interrupting, ‘Rafa, you told me that…’, and he said ‘you just need to hear this…’, before we could have a conversation.” “Essentially, I was saying to him: ‘What do you need?’”
“In my background, if you want investment you say what is wrong, what have you tried to do about it that hasn’t worked, what do you need and how is it going to work.”
“He had come with a shopping list which included, for example, a left-back.”
“And I said: ‘Rafa, you’ve been here six years, and you’ve bought six left-backs and you’re telling me none of them have worked. So what are you going to differently this time?’”
“There was no answer.” “I asked him to write down everything he wanted and why it was going to work. And he did.” “He thought it was totally incomprehensible from a football viewpoint but he did it!”
“And I was beginning to think we were starting to get on the right wavelength, when it became obvious that he wanted to have discussions through his lawyer – and that’s when it became obvious that he wanted out.”
“My idea was still that he would stay,” “Rafa basically pulled out of the whole thing and said: ‘I’m going to leave this to my lawyers to negotiate.’”
“He didn’t say he was leaving, and I never told him he was leaving.” “It was ‘I’ll leave this to my lawyer’, and his lawyer’s stance was, ‘what are the terms for Rafa going’?”
Newcastle fans will not be surprised that Rafa’s lawyers got involved at the end, because Lee Charnley negotiated with them last March and then again in May as they thrashed out the conditions in which Rafa would become the Newcastle manager.
So if he’s joining a club or leaving a club it seems he gets his lawyers involved.
One thing that really worries us is that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has a history of treating people badly at Newcastle – people like Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan to name only two.
Once he does that with Rafa Benitez we would expect Rafa to be on his way, although it’s also true Rafa has become a better person and a better manager for his experiences at big clubs like Liverpool FC.
Rafa Benitez has been the perfect manager for Newcastle since he joined us on Friday, March 11th 2016 at around 2:13 pm approximately.
Long may he remain as the Newcastle United manager.