Date: 4th October 2010 at 2:32pm
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Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has denied Christian Purslow’s claims that his exit as manager was “was about as clearcut a case of mutual consent as I have ever been involved in.” Rafa said in an interview with the Independent:

“I read that he said this — I was preparing for the next season but after the meeting with Mr Broughton and Mr Purslow I realised that I had to accept the offer they made. I was very sad and my family were devastated when we realised after these meetings that we would leave. I knew I had to go.”

Benitez has also admitted to mistakes during his time in charge:

“Did we make mistakes? Obviously. But 82, 86 points, four trophies, three more finals in a difficult time when the owners were changing, when the chief executives were changing. A lot of things were changing. Now people can see it, no? It was a big, big problem. I’ll say it again, we made mistakes. But people are talking about players who were not good enough, if you put five or six of these players together, the cost would be five million. It’s not easy to wheel and deal and at the same time to win and sign players like Torres, Reina, Mascherano, Aquilani, Skrtel, Johnson, Lucas Leiva, Agger or Kuyt.”

He also revealed he wanted both Alberto Aquilani and Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic to replace Xabi Alonso last summer but money problems meant only one of the signings could take place, similar to the previous season when he wanted both Gareth Barry and Robbie Keane. Reflecting on how the money problems began to hamper the team’s efforts on the field, Rafa said:

“It was a long time, it wasn’t just one thing. The feeling was that something was wrong, we couldn’t do what we wanted to do. We were preparing the signings and the sales but we could see that we have some targets and we didn’t do it. . . I had a very good relationship with David Moores and Rick Parry but the only thing I wanted to do was to do things quicker because we didn’t have too much money. To be fair, sometimes we were doing good business without big money and sometimes we lost players. After the Americans arrived, everything changed. I thought it would be easier the first year, we signed Torres and everything was going well but little by little we had some money problems and all the decisions were subject to the money issues.”

Rafa also denied reports that players were unhappy in his last season as manager:

“It’s not true that I lost the dressing room. It was obvious that maybe some players were not happy but the majority of the players were very good professionals who were surprised by these stories in the same newspapers by the same journalists. Who was leaking them?”

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