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Parry loses power battle

Phil McNulty | 10:24 UK time, Friday, 27 February 2009

Liverpool's rumour mill has been spinning wildly with claims about a big-name departure from Anfield - now we know it has been a case of right rumour wrong man.

Rafael Benitez was the name in the frame in the hours before Liverpool's Champions League victory against Real Madrid on Wednesday, a suggestion met with wide-eyed incredulity from the manager.

Now we know it will be chief executive Rick Parry going through the exit door at the end of the season after the latest twist in the public power battle being waged inside Anfield.

My understanding is that talks over the past fortnight have led to a "mature" acceptance that Parry and combative American co-owner Hicks' philosophies are so apart that they will never be reconciled.

One of the pair had to go - and in the current climate it was never going to be Hicks.

Parry and Hicks have had, I believe, a more amicable relationship recently after the Texan's mud-slinging last April, when he called the chief executive's reign "a disaster" and demanded his resignation.

But ultimately, in words Hicks himself might use, the town was not big enough for both of them. Talks, which were described to me as "measured and calm" have brought another episode of the Anfield soap opera to a close.

The move is as close to the famed "mutual consent" as it gets. Hicks and Parry mutually agree they cannot work together and that one of them should go, in this case Parry.

It will be portrayed as Benitez finally getting his way and seeing off Parry in his own pursuit of power, but is my belief that the decision is based on the chief executive's relationship with Hicks rather than his manager.

And while Benitez will stop short of claiming Parry's departure as a victory, there is little doubt it removes one more obstacle in his plans to secure his long-term Anfield future and cement his personal power-base.

A key sticking point in Benitez's negotiations over a new contract has been his desire not to have to answer to Parry over football matters, a wound that was open long before this summer's ill-fated and acrimonious pursuit of Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry.

My information is that both Hicks and fellow owner George Gillett felt strongly that the Barry deal was too pricey for Liverpool's liking and that Parry was furious that he seemed to be shouldering the largest share of blame for the failure of the deal.

I also believe Barry's arrival was also strongly dependent on the sale of Xabi Alonso to Juventus and subsequent off-loading of Jermaine Pennant and Yossi Benayoun - none of which happened.

Benitez has been openly frustrated for four years rather than six months by what he regards as Parry's failure to move swiftly enough when targets have been identified by his scouting team.

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, Arsenal's Abou Diaby and Chelsea winger Florent Malouda are Benitez's private examples of those who got away after he had lined up deals - although in the case of the latter Parry should surely be thanked rather than scolded by his manager.

My belief is that Liverpool had a strong interest in signing Vidic when he left Spartak Moscow in January 2006, but were left unconvinced by the player's real desire to move to Anfield and subsequently signed Daniel Agger instead.


Kakha Kaladze was another defender Benitez wanted from AC Milan, but again he was regarded as too expensive at £6m - with the more preferable and younger option of Martin Skrtel eventually arriving at Anfield.

I understand George Gillett, a strong supporter of Parry in the face of criticism from Hicks, is saddened by his exit - although some Anfield insiders believe it may lead to a reconciliation of sorts between the pair as no potential purchasers are on the horizon to mount an Anfield takeover.

It is felt a more "neutral" chief executive might help them work more fruitfully together during their remaining time in charge because Parry was viewed as very much Gillett's man among the Anfield power-brokers.

There may also be a section of Liverpool's support who will see the development as a sign that Hicks may be strengthening his own position inside Anfield's corridors of power, hardly something they will welcome unanimously.

Parry has also taken public criticism for the decision to bring Hicks and Gillett into Anfield and back away from the proposed deal with Dubai International Capital.

This, of course, has proved to be a mistake on current evidence, although it was actually a decision made by shareholders as opposed to Parry.

I have dealt with Parry over the course of his time at Liverpool and found him to be an honest, hard-working, low-key operator who prefers to go about his business away from the spotlight. I am certain Parry would have loved to stay at Liverpool - but not neccessarily Liverpool in its current form.

Parry is an advocate of what used to be known as "the Liverpool Way" of doing business without fuss and behind closed doors - not the public airing of dirty linen that has driven a coach and horses through that philosophy in recent years.

He is a lifelong Liverpool fan and the image portrayed by some as a man who will procrastinate, almost to the deliberate detriment of Liverpool, is false. Parry is well-respected within football, and will have no shortage of suitors once he leaves Anfield.

As Parry prepares to go, focus will now switch back on to Benitez's protracted contract talks and the growing belief that he will now finally sign the extension on offer, although his departure alone will not seal any deal.

It certainly gives Benitez one less reason not to sign the deal, although whether Hicks and Gillett finally grant him almost unprecedented power over the use of a Liverpool transfer budget is yet to be revealed.

Benitez's hand has been strengthened considerably by the outstanding win in The Bernabeu in midweek and, even though he will not say it, by Parry's decision to end his reign at Anfield.

For all the talk of the Premier League title being Liverpool's priority this season, you would not back against him winning the Champions League to offer up as a more than acceptable consolation prize, such is his tactical expertise in Europe.

And Parry would also regard it as the perfect ending to a turbulent 12 years at Anfield.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Are the FA still sniffing around for a Chief Exec for their World Cup bid?

    If so, methinks Uncle Rick is walking out to a far bigger paycheck than the one he leaves behind.

    Now Rafa has one less excuse to cite if he fails to deliver next season...

  • Comment number 2.

    As a non-Liverpool fan, but avid follower of football, it has been painful in the extreme to see clubs of the stature of Liverpool and Newcastle United so hampered by high-level interference in sporting affairs. I hope that this resignation may pave the way for similar decisions to be made, and managers in England receive the support and trust from the board that they so desperately need. The way that Benitez has been treated by those 'above' him appears, from the outside at least, almost Weimar-esque in its lack of support for the 'front line'

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    After reading Phil's article I almost feel sorry for Parry, but business is business and Parry failed to deliver in my opinion. We make less money from merchadising that even Bayern Munich, that is unacceptable considering our fan base.
    His name was very much mentioned when it came to our chase of Dani Alves, we were £1-2m short of making him ours and we backed out, inexcusable.
    Rest assured though Rick, if your successor fails to get things going to Rafa's liking then we'll be all over him as well.

  • Comment number 5.

    Something had to give. Rick Parry had been a loyal servant to the club but constant fall outs can not be tolerated and as a Liverpool fan this saddens me that this all gets aired in public.
    Ultimately these issues have affected our performance in the transfer market and we do not appear to be bringing in the right players, which is fundamentally Parry's responsibility. However, Rafa has not brought one young player of note through yet which is his responsibility.
    A long hard look in the mirror is required by all before we plan for the future.
    However, the owners of these so called franchises (we all know who I am talking about) know nothing of honour or English football's traditions to keep this in house.

    I whole heartedly, cannot wait for English football to implode like it almost certainly will. This will drive out those who think they can own a personal trophy/toy or make a fast buck and bring the game back towards the fans.

    There is only Randy Lerner who stands out as a non meddler eager to contribute to the game's success and longevity through sustainable investment and without masses of debt!!
    If only cloning owners was possible.....

    The day when fans can own their club and elect their own chief executive the better.

  • Comment number 6.

    With Benitez's choice of Barry at 18 Million and Parry's choice of Keane at 20 Million it still amazes me that
    a) Benitez was overruled because Barry was "too expensive" and Parry's choice cost even more.
    b) What ever you say Phil, Parry wasn't the most gifted negotiator and his procrastination is legendary in it's proportion.
    c) Someone decides to leave Liverpool FC and you immediately leap to their defence. Phil, you are following a common thread here and I have yet to see a blog from you in which some mention of Liverpool Fc is not followed by some sort of jibe, subtle or otherwise.

    I'm happy to see the back of Rick Parry. He has had a large hand in doing Liverpool harm either by jumping ship from DIC to sell out to Gillet and Hicks, failing to fully utilise the Far East market and his complete inability to conclude deals for players in a timely manner.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think Parry was part of the problem but not the problem itself.

    The main problem is 2 directors pulling at different directions. If they had sat down and decided on a common stance the problem would have been solved ago, one way or another.

    Also Benitez's conduct in this ongoing show was far from commendable. Time and again he aired his problems with senior management in public which surely must had some impact on the players and the fans.

    He is a great tactician, but a combination of his poor transfer record, lack of league titles and public demands for more power will ultimately result in him leaving the club in the summer.

    Unless he can pull something out of the hat and win the Champions Legue or Premier League this season. The former is possible, but the latter is looking increasingly unlikely

  • Comment number 8.

    38 mins between post #1 and post #7 and still #1 has not been moderated.

    Is anybody working at the BBC today?

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm not a Liverpool fan but think it's a sad day for Liverpool. I used to respect the way they went about things. Now Benitez has what he wants I'm sure he will now hang himself. The amount of moaning he has done about not getting players or other things in public is a disgrace and if I were the owners I would certainly not hand over the transfer budget to him. I'm sure that there will be plenty of clubs going to the FA with the way he comes out and says what players he wants in the press get get compensation over tapping up the players.

    Good luck to Parry for doing things the right way. Hopefully either another club or the FA can use his talents.

  • Comment number 10.

    To give Rafa unlimited power over funds for transfers would be a big mistake. Liverpool will be poorer as a football club with the loss of Rick Parry. Liverpool will be losing a football man and be left with business men who see the club as a cash cow

  • Comment number 11.

    Thank goodness I'm not a liverpool fan. I think parry has been stopping rafa's excesses. Can you imagine liverpool's season if they sold alonso and brought barry in? Would they still be in second place? No disrespect to barry who is a quality player but alonso has run liverpool's midfield.

    We shall see exactly how good rafa is in the transfer market now that he doesn't have parry to take the flack.

  • Comment number 12.

    Yes, he will be sorely missed...

    But one feels that Liverpool have to move on and to be a force in the football world again...

    Then Parry's departure can be seen as a step in the right direction...

  • Comment number 13.

    Parry has been the regulator over Benitez's enthusiasm in the transfer market. When Parry goes, this role will fall to the next CEO whover that may be, and Benitez will publically blame him (as well as the owners) for any mistakes he makes in the transfer market.

    It may have been better to keep Parry (who washes his dirty linen behind closed doors) and get rid of Benitez and the Yanks....

  • Comment number 14.

    Rick Parry is a disater, I wish he was leaving sooner.

  • Comment number 15.

    Parry has always tried to do whats best at Liverpool, even though a lot of it wasn't that good, I still beleive he had and still has good intentions for Liverpool.
    I think the end came knowing what had to be done to keep Rafa at the club, but I also can't help thinking that a role at the FA has something to do with it...
    Maybe Liverpool may get some preferential treatment from the FA just like United have been for so long! haha

  • Comment number 16.

    Phil, while I appreciate Rick Parry was a life-long Liverpool fan, he wasn't up to the job of taking Liverpool as far as Kenyon has taken Utd and subsequently Chelsea.

    He has a long list of faults and cock ups: The Champs league ticket fiasco was unforegivable. Going on his hols while Gerrard waited to put pen to paper, again unforgivable. Losing out to Utd with Ronaldo amongst other transfers lost.

    There's no doubt he's a nice man and the loss of the Liverpool way is sad but Liverpool are far from where they should be commercially.

  • Comment number 17.

    why are all posts being pre-moderated? A lot of the writers here have been contributing for a long time. Are we back in the kindergarten?
    Anyways, I'm really happy to see a "team manager" having the upper hand in a battle with a "general manager".(that's what they were called in old money.) I live in germany and really detest seeing coaches being given the chop while the man in the suit stays warm in his office and puts all the blame on the man who does the work on the training field.

  • Comment number 18.

    Very well written piece. One has to keep in mind that the right people are needed in the right places, in this case, LFC must look for someone with the right tactical and strategic nous to complement the owners and the manager. Easier said than done I must admit but impossible?

  • Comment number 19.

    Peter Kenyon is available...

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    It's going to be interesting, because there does have to be a CEO at the club, whether Rafa likes it or not. The difference is whether the owners will place a 'puppet CEO' in Parry's position, or place someone who will "go against the grain" of the manager for the club's long-term financial interests.

    The reason that's interesting is because success generates revenue. American businessmen, with their country's brand of capitalism, know that as well as anyone, especially since Gillett, Hicks and the Glaziers all own American sports franchises.

    If Rafa goes this season, from the strong position he had in December, to winning absolutely nothing, then the owners will start to question whether Rafa is the man who will bring them that success, and thus, the return on their investment in the club.

    Let's not forget that Rafa has received in excess of £200m, and getting 2nd in the Premier League after five years doesn't really cut it from a business point of view if you're an owner and you want to build a new stadium.

    I can see this earthquake making Rafa susceptible to aftershocks if he doesn't deliver success, and soon, especially given his already fractious relationship with the owners.

  • Comment number 22.

    Its sad to see Parry go... He has prevented Rafa making hell lot of transfer mistakes. But then Rafa will stay at liverpool for long time, and that does mean liverpool will not be able to challenge for the premier league as long as he is there...

  • Comment number 23.

    If this helps Benitez achieve more control over transfer targets, then so much the better. I reckon Benitez will eventually deliver the title for Liverpool, and this will hopefully speed up the process.

  • Comment number 24.

    Parry is probably laughing his head off now! nice pay off etc and walk into a new job elsewhere.

    Sorry...remind me when the re-financing of Liverpool needs to be completed? July!

  • Comment number 25.

    While i thank Parry for the effort he put in. For a CEO responsible for sugning players to constantly go awol on holiday during the transfer season is just unacceptable. People may want to remember that is was Parry decision to go on holiday after the 05 CL final rather than sort out Gerrard Contract offer which mean't we almost lost our captain.

  • Comment number 26.

    Comment 5 Scoticus7 -

    This already happens at BArcelona (the fans run the club and elect a new president in)

    And Ebbsfleet United (not really a good comparison!!)

  • Comment number 27.

    Parry can write whatever epitaphs for himself, his departure from LFC was a foregone conclusion the moment Rafa bagged the Liverpudlian win at the Bernabeu.

    You could say Rafa should be a contented man now that it appears axiomatic he will rule without let in footballing matters at the LFC.

    Fans' and LFC board's expectations from Rafa will now escalate to an even higher level. Its ok doing well in Europe. Liverpool have done it before. Considerable shift of focus towards the PL is now automatic.

    Liverpool fans will no longer be content with being a mere 'bridesmaid' there. In other words Rafa's managerial credentials will not be beyond doubt until he gets the top prize in this mother of all footballing cauldrons of Europe.

    He can nomore continue to be a soft touch in the PL with immunity, his so called 'rant' notwithstanding. In my view though he had a fair point there too, but so had Mourinho and some other prominent managers down the years. Its a grouse that has been unredressable for quite some while now. Any new aspiring manager will just have to swim against this tide.

  • Comment number 28.

    As a united fan I find it very odd all the anti parry comments on the beeb forums.

    1stly parry was the top man at the premier league before he took the scouse job. I can't believe he's suddenly lost his business acumen particuarly as the fa wanted him recently.

    2nd parry may have made mistakes - if we accept the rumour that Keane was parrys signing not benitezs the reality of the sitatuion is the fact keane didn't settle in the liverpool squad is more benitez fought that parrys - parry and the rest of the liverpool board have let benitez buy enough duff siginings in recent years, in fact bentiez has spent more year on year than fergie has at united. Letting bentiez buy whoever he wants is not a particularly bright move or livepool could end up with a bunch of jermaine pennents

    3rd their is a serious power vacuum - i'm sure the owners will bring in their own man which surely can't be good.

    Conclusion: livepool may be cook a hoop but it's livepools rivals who'll be smiling in the long term

  • Comment number 29.

    I think like almost everybody else upstairs at the club, Parry had to go. I also include Benitez in that. He is turning into a cartoon character who is seems to be constantly on the edge. Anybody who believes that Lucas & Ngog along with several others are good enough to win the Priemier League are delusional. When you compare the way Man Utd operate in comparrison its embarrassing.

  • Comment number 30.

    Parry has been a failure in this role. Liverpool are 2nd biggest brand in English football though in commercial sense this has not been developed in his time there. He also presided over Benitez (and Houllier) in signing vast quantities of mediocre players for large sums - some of which were interspersed with some good signings.

    Parry was outmanouvered by a clever politician in Benitez who was able to have Parry shoulder the blame for some of the short comings on the pitch.

    I would go so far to say that Liverpool retains a high profile not because of Parry but because of the proBBC bias - Phil you don't share this opinion - with Lawro, Hansen, DJ Spooney, Alan Green, Jan Molby all regulars on TV or Radio programs. Surely that is a disproportionate number for 1 club.

    Benitez has blown Liverpool's best chance of title in years, not Parry, and Man Utd and Chelsea (if Hiddink is installed permanently) will be out of sight next season with Liverpool grappling with Villa, Arsenal and Everton for status of best of the rest.

  • Comment number 31.

    Some interesting insights Phil and an interesting read.

    I wonder though what you think about the structure post Parry. Do you think there will be a straight replacement to fulfill Parry's former role?

    There is no doubt that football is big bucks business and do you think it wise (no pun intended) to have a Director of Football/ Chief exec to to provide a second opinion. Maybe the only thing that matters is the result, but the revolving door of Managers has thrown up some amazing spending levels.

    ''no potential purchasers are on the horizon to mount an Anfield takeover''
    You may be completely wrong here Phil.
    Mihir Bose (Blog Jan 23 09) has revealed that Nasser Al - Kharafi of Kuwait is in talks with Liverpool's owners. It will be interesting to see which of you is correct

  • Comment number 32.

    Just to answer Poster 6...I do not believe Parry over-ruled Benitez over Barry and pushed the Keane deal instead.

    The decision not to sign Barry was taken by the owners, and I could understand Benitez's frustration to an extent.

    Also Liverpool needed to sell Xabi Alonso first to make space and find the funds for Barry. It did not happen, which was another contributory factor towards the failure of the deal.

    My own opinion, and that is all it is, is that Benitez was happy to sign Robbie Keane, but only after signing Barry.

    Villa refused to accept an offer from Liverpool for Barry, whereas Spurs accepted a bid for Keane.

    The failure of that deal has caused Benitez much consternation, but to imagine a scene where Parry told him he could not have Barry and forced Keane on him instead is very difficult.

  • Comment number 33.

    They won't be winning the league any time soon. Not as long as benny tez is still around. He can deliver in the champions league which is great, but they won't win it this year. But he can't deliver anything else, so in other words, he is one dimensional. Just that his one dimensional is the best one there is. But I think the fans want to win the league again and would take it over the champions league too.

  • Comment number 34.

    I can't say i'm too happy with this departure, as a Liverpool fan I think this ride has already been too 'bumpy' as it is, now with the departure of Mr. Parry, I can only see it getting worse, I know he hasn't left yet but knowing he is, how will the team react? Knowing that we can still catch United (although a lot of neutral fans don't think it) and being 1-0 up against Real, I think this has come at a bad time, because now theres more washing being done in the public and the team can lose concetration...I hope i'm wrong, and I hope we can turn this season back the way it was not too long ago!

  • Comment number 35.

    other players we lost out on because of parry:

    daniel alaves
    sergio aguerro

    congratualtions rick parry. a snake in the grass - and a sloth too.

    good bye.

  • Comment number 36.

    This article has a lot of key words that point to meaning no more than the usual Anti-Liverpool 606 posters. One of whom you almost are Phil. most of your "insight" into the goings on begin with "I believe" and "I understand that". To be honest I could have written an article saying the opposite that would have as much evidence in it as that one.

    As soon as anything happens you are on the bandwagon fanning flames of controversy based on nothing more than hearsay and tabloid speculation. Defending Parry almost blindly with just one of two lines highlighting mistakes he made that got in the managers way.

    Your response to poster 6 is amost unfathomable. Benitez was happy to sign Keane but only after Barry, so how can the owners and Parry afford £20m for Rafas number 2 target but he has to sell before bringing in his cheaper number one target? It makes no sense. He may have wanted Keane after Barry as you say, but with his new found power over footballing matters he would have been able to get Barry regardless and then they could have told him no money for Keane until you sell a few players.

  • Comment number 37.

    Personally I'm pleased to see Parry go.

    In the past 5 years the way Liverpool have negotiated and brokered transfer deals has been, at times, excruciating.

    For example:

    The way they were held to ransom over Pennant and Crouch. Both signed from relegated clubs, yet the transfer fees were ridiculously high.

    The failure to wrap up the Alves deal. Particularly now Barcalona have paid almost twice the fee for him.

    The slow pace of transfers in general meaning L'pool have had to start pre-season without their new signings.

    Shorely Parry must shoulder a large part of the blame for these mistakes?

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi Phil,
    Can't help this nagging feeling that the wrong man has left?
    Graham (lfc fan 40 years)

  • Comment number 39.

    praise the lord. now lets just get on with things.

  • Comment number 40.

    Big business owners making big investment seeking profit.They understand that success on the pitch has a direct effect on financial return. But the pressures of fan's demands for success and the strains of financing the club make for a high tension situation.Eventually the owners will probably have to "sell along" all or part of the club to satisfy these demands.Someone is bound to fall off this highwire occassionally.It was Parry's time.

  • Comment number 41.

    sad really. Some will think this is a good thing, but nothing will really happen until the owners go I guess- the problem stems from their continual mis-communication

  • Comment number 42.

    Glad to see some resolve coming out of Liverpool. Things are clearly screwed up there. How do you sell a striker in the transfer window when you are in or near first place and not purchase a replacement. Sheer idiocy. I know Rafa is thick but I didnt he was that foolish. I cant wait to see (tounge in cheek) who Rafa will buy with total control of transfers. Rick Parry is lucky to be out of that mess.

  • Comment number 43.

    Rick Parry had to go if Liverpool are to prosper. Liverpool as a brand pales compared to Man U, Arsenal Real, Barca, AC, Inter, Liverpool is still run like an old pals club rather than an effective business machine. I know many fans will disagree but it's the truth. How much has been done to ride on the CL win. Pool fans sprang up all over the globe, but there are so limited in the way that they can show their appreciation. Now I an go anywhere in the world and you will see people wearning those teams I mentioned, particularly Man U, Barca and Real. Football is about money - Parry should have focused on the business the Liverpool franchise and Bentiz on team affairs. Parry trying to do both is just rediculous. The two Yanks was doomed from the start - partnerships never work unless it's in blood. Finally, let's hop that the sleeping giant that is Liverpool will wake up and actually start behaving like a top club on the global stage, rather than a OK club with a great team!

  • Comment number 44.

    The failure of that deal has caused Benitez much consternation, but to imagine a scene where Parry told him he could not have Barry and forced Keane on him instead is very difficult.


    OK Phil, so the resale of Keane back to Spurs isn't in anyway a litmus test of the struggle for ascendency between Benitez and Parry?

    I think this could certainly be read as the final slap in the face for Parry, which ultimately lead to his position at the club becoming untenable.

    Killingholme Clay

  • Comment number 45.

    its an absolute disgrace to the fantastic history of Liverpool football club when a manager can have influence on who runs it.
    for me this is the beginning of the end, because of one result in the champions league we the fans forget that benitez handed man united another league, what are the fans doing to this beautiful club?

  • Comment number 46.

    I beleive that, the departure of Parry is a relife for me in particular. I have never seen a situation in football where the coach will request for a palyer and another person in the name of executuive will decide.
    The resuls have shwon that benitez was doing the right thing meanwhile the Parry was wrong. How can a team let go a player like Vidic or Kahaldze in the name of being expensive.As a matter of fact Liverpool is suffering from lack of defenders.I just pray that Gillet and Hicks come to an understanding and give Rafa the full authority to manage the team.This also reminds me when Morinho was in chelsea and the problem he had whith his boos because concerning the interfring of Avram grant in his business as the coach, and finally where is chelsea today .So Gilet and hicks be wise, and let Benetez do his job alone.

  • Comment number 47.

    "but is my belief"

    The clarion call of the hack - and you couldn't even get the sentence right.

    Is it any wonder you are seen as a fool?

  • Comment number 48.

    I think Benitez is still going to leave in the Summer. This is the Americans taking over and putting their foot down. This has nothing to do with Benitezs demands, this just paves the way for the Americans to bring in someone who they want.

    Now all they have to do is keep Benitez sweet so that one we go as far as we can in the champs league and two we dont lose 2nd place in the league.

    It wouldnt surprise me that if they say this is the final contract we are offering and Rafa says no thanks, then a golden handshake will take place, he will stay on til the end of the season and walk away with a handsome amount of money.

  • Comment number 49.

    What other business would allow a Works Manager (read Team Coach) to have total control over the companies finances?
    Why offer Benitez another contract? If he fails again this season, which he will, is he worth keeping? An improvement is for Liverpool to finish within 10 points of the champions, and it looks as though they will strugle to do that.
    Parry will be missed, but the employees on the shop floor (players) won't know why, as the Works Manager has blown the budget and can't afford to carry out the necessary maintenance.

  • Comment number 50.

    Interesting to see many Liverpool fans think the problems will only be solved once the owners go.

    This does not look like it will happen imminently, so does Parry's departure make Hicks the stronger partner?

    And is it now time for Benitez to sign the deal on offer? The owners have clearly made plenty of adjustments.

    Should Benitez now compromise? He is currently holding one of the most prestigious jobs in world football. He would not walk into a better job the moment he left Anfield.

    I hope the contract saga is sorted soon to finally bring long-term stability to Liverpool.

  • Comment number 51.

    50. At 6:39pm on 27 Feb 2009, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:
    Interesting to see many Liverpool fans think the problems will only be solved once the owners go.

    Honestly Phil, we all know July is the watershed and the Americans will likely sell part, if not all, of the club.
    This is a buyer's market and nobody is going to rush in and hand Gillett and/or Hicks exactly the price they ask. If I were an investor I would wait until the last minute when the sweat has appeared on the foreheads of the sellers and make an offer which, in the end, they could hardly refuse.
    Frankly anyone with enough cash and an ounce of sense would be a big improvement on the American three ring circus and Rick the performing clown.
    Rafa is the right manager to take us forward. All we need is people who will back the man.

  • Comment number 52.

    What Benitez wants is the same authority in team affairs as Ferguson at ManU and Wenger at Arsenal. He obviously sees this as a prerequisite for any kind of serious challenge in the League.

    Does Ferguson have anybody second guessing his transfer deals? No, he just gets a budget and does what he likes. If you want an example of how bad it is for club admin people to deal in the transfer market, just look at Real Madrid's chaotic policy and the totally overpriced, unbalanced and non-functioning team they've ended up with.

    Also Parry's inability to develop the business side of the club has been a big factor. The "Yanks" must have been surprised at the amateurish way that Parry has failed to spread the "Liverpool soccer brand" around the globe.

  • Comment number 53.

    Raffa has wasted boat loads of cash. Giving him more power can't be a good thing for Liverpool. Better pray that Real takes him off your hands

  • Comment number 54.

    I find it interesting how much gossip is being banded around as fact. I've noticed a couple of things during the last 4 years I've spent on various committees and they are:

    1) Anyone outside a committee is unlikely to ever know more than 40% of the internal politics, private agendas and personal agreements which are made.

    2) People are extremely complex; logic and the common good are NOT the only major factors in making decisions, they are joined by personal relationships, personal ethics, personalities and a good chunk of personal opinion.

    3) Desire and frustraition when mixed with disappointment normally leads to poor decision making.

    4) Fear stops people being able to see things and they stop thinking clearly.

    5) People are creatures of habit and just because they do not change as quickly as the world around them does not make them "useless" "Spinless" "Dithering" or many of the other words I have seen to describe Rick today.

    Fear mixed with frustration, disappointment and rediculous media hype and speculation leads to people jumping on the first person they see and blaming them. I remember a lot of anger being pointed at the new owners a number of months ago, but since they are not going anywhere people need to lash out at someone else. I feel very sorry for Mr Parry as I don't think he is guilty of some of the "charges" against him. If you compare these blog comments with the ones on Mr Peston's blog I think you'll find these are more accusing and derogatory towards the man stepping down; peronsally I think it insane that the CEO of a football club is copping more anger than the men who destroyed the biggest banks in the UK!

    I am interested about all the remarks relating to a lack of high profile Liverpool branding. Is the board just made up of Rick Parry and no one else? There are others who need to be asking themselves whether they are partly responsible for letting the Liverpool brand name be less than it could.

    A lot of people are making very black and white remarks about rather grey issues and I hope that they read what they have written later and realise some of it isn't justified or even accurate.

    Rick is an honest and caring man who has been a loyal servant to liverpool football club over the years; I went to school with his son so I would know better than most the sort of man he is and it upsets me to see some of the things which are being written.

  • Comment number 55.

    I am in mixed minds about this one.

    I would be worried if Rafa was given "full" control of transfers, after all he was quite open about getting Alosno out for Barry, as others have said Xabi has been one of the best players for Liverpool this season and I shudder to think how we would have performed without him (just look at how we looked out of sorts at Preston after he got injured for example). As much as I love Rafa, I am also sad to see him complaining about the Barry deal in public. As many others have stated Liverpool do not air their dirty laundry in public.

    Having said that Parry has his faults. Lets not forget that in 2005, less than 2 months after Liverpool won the CL, Parry was sending mixed messages to Reebok over who the new sponsor was going to be (Carlsberg still had not renewed at that stage). As a result the away shirt was late in being released (Reebok even had another sponsor logo ready to print on the shirts), arguably the club lost out on a lot of sales on the back of the CL win and as a result Reebok sued Liverpool for loss of earnings. I find it tough to believe, that someone with Parry's experience, could lead the club into an almost laughable situation as happened in July 2005. How can the winners of the CL, fail to capitalise on the Istanbul bounce? I feel that both Chelsea, Man Utd and even Arsenal would have capitalised on the bounce, especially in the US and Far East. It was a missed opportunity in terms of selling the LFC brand.

    As with most situations I would imagine that all the parties (Hicks; Gillett; Parry; Rafa) are all partly to blame. Rafa has the backing of the fans so Hicks/Gillet will not want him to go for fear of the backlash, no one is intertersted in buying the club so sadly (for Parry) it was Parry who had to go. Maybe he has been made out to be the public scapegoat in all this- who knows? I think it is important for us all to remember we do not everything that goes on in the board room.

    I just hope Liverpool replace Parry with someone who is up to managing the remaining three.

  • Comment number 56.

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  • Comment number 57.

    As a non Liverpool Fan I am bemused by the loyalty to benitez. How can Phil think the game at the Bernabau was excellent? Liverpool camped 11 men behind the ball and then nicked a goal towards the end. Had Real scored from a free kick and Liverpool had gone down 1-0 then people would be critisising Rafa. Whatever the boardroom politics at LFC, Liverpool play the most boring (similar to Chelsea when Mourinho was in charge) football. Defend, defend, defend, then nick a goal. I'm not a Man U fan but they have flair, defence and watching them is generally entertaining. Rafa being described as a Euro Genius when all he does is hope his team can defend for 90 minutes and nick the odd goal seems very silly. I think the whole Rafa Vs Parry Vs Hicks Vs the "other bloke" is very sad. At least this way, Rafa has no more excuses and can't hide behind power politics....

  • Comment number 58.

    As a Liverpool fan, I am deeply frustrated about how the season is now shaping. We have had a fantastic first half of the season when Rafa was really taking chances and was trying to win games, all we have now is a man trying not to lose a game - not good enough at all. It is a sad day when you see a man like Rick Parry departing.
    I think with Rafa, he is now on borrowed time, he has had the undying support of the fans but I think that could change of he fails to get the PL this year. It has been the best opportunity he is likley to get with Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal all having a poor season by their standards. He needs to be much more bold and give players like Babel a run and bin that complete donkey Lucas, my nine year old son gives the ball away less than him! I really hope he wins the PL, but I doubt it now.

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  • Comment number 61.

    @52 Wrong. What Benitez wants is not the same kind of authority that Fergie has at Man Utd. Even Fergie has to answer to David Gill. Atleast Rick Parry didn't moan about in public, like most people in your club are happy to do

  • Comment number 62.

    I just fully agree with the point that we truly do not know what goes on in the boardroom and any post that suggests otherwise is just wild speculation.

    Only time will tell if the right decision has been made.

  • Comment number 63.

    I am not an Anfield insider and I will never be. But something had to be done. But I am not so sure the right man is gone, I never trusted the Yanks anyway. And I have my doubts about Rafa being a long time manager for us, although I agree he has been a very good one for us.

    But if it is a better case for Benitez and his 'football maters' Rick Parry is gone, so be it. as long as this whole soap does not infect the team. Me, as a long time Liverpool-fan, I personally don't know what to believe anymore. The thing that really matters to me (and to most Liverpool-fans, I think) is seeing a world class team on the pitch, winning trophy's and titles. And honestly, as things are going at Anfield at the moment, I don't think we shall win very much this season. Once again...

  • Comment number 64.

    And what I forgot to say: thanks, Rick Parry for all the work you have done for the club!

  • Comment number 65.

    It is nice to see Parry leaving. but what about Rapha's future in this wonderful club? I'm of the opinion that Parry was not the only problem that kept Pool away from the PL. instead, he was part of a big problem in which Rapha and the yankees take the lion's share. therefore, it is not only Parry who deserves sacking but also Rapha and the yankees. Hey stand up and give Pool to its true owners, the magnificient funs.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think this is the start of something very positive for Liverpool. I do genuinley get the impression that Rafa has taken Liverpool FC to his heart. He wants to rework the club from top to bottom and does not appear to be only concerned with just coaching the first team. This attention to detail can only be a positive thing. Liverpool are already a difficult team to beat. He is gradually building a Team not just a group of players. I think the summer will be very interesting with something involving a Villa....but which one???

    Benitez should be given more time. Five years is not long enough. Today for me is a fresh start for Liverpool. Please Rafa, sign on again.

  • Comment number 67.

    Mr. Hicks and myself are both from the same town in Texas, and while I've never heard anyone in my time utter the phrase "this town's not big enough for the both of us" I do think back to a deal he made as Texas Rangers owner, paying A-Rod $250 Million to play ball, only to trade him to the Yankees while still paying part of his wage. Mr. Hicks may have money, but he doesn't always have sense. As a Texan, let me appologise on behalf of my state for this man and his hand in your awesome game.

  • Comment number 68.

    the truth is this has been coming for parry. He has been pedestrian at best. A symbol of mediocrity that stains our club for nearly two decades ( yes I know he wasn't here in 1991). The Moores hired him to bring business excellence to the club but I'm yet to see it. He is a classic case for fans never taking positions of power at their club . Thanks Rick but where Liverpool are going you wouldn't fit in.

  • Comment number 69.

    Ramos is as god as fired, no La Liga title and soon to be out out of the CL. Real could come in for Rafa

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  • Comment number 74.

    Well its amazing all the supposed facts here, but thats football i guess and as always the topic is interesting and thats why we are all writing here, its phils job and he does it well, does not have to be 100% fact, its opinion and rumour at the end of the day so no need to get on to him, just the topic.

    The main topic being, Rick. I am a business person and although I think Rick is professional and would be excellent in many roles and presumably was at the FA and may be again, he simply has not delivered what had been expected and has really survived as long as he has mainly due to the changes and problems at the club, none of which were his making.

    His main role over the x years there should have been to increase liverpools revenue and as we all know the fan base is one of the biggest in the world despite it being nearly 20 years since most of their/our success, they still have a huge fan base. However, where is the imagination in trying to reach out to them, to gain their support. Where is the multilingual website like barcelona's for example. I can remember before lvfc bought that website they now use and its really not changed much since they bought it. Yes its not bad, but there should be a lot of investment in it and help to the original guy who ran it (still same guy i guess) as this is what most people see that cant make it to anfield etc.

    These supporters are a resource and the website was/is the way to reach and please them. We have a spanish manager and almost a spanish backbone in the team, but is there ever a spanish version of the website which would cost about one days wage of any top player to get organized (speaking from experience).

    Anyway, point being, LVFC is a rich club, but not where it should be and ive not seen anything new. I am in colombia right now and well with the spanish plays and manager there is much interest in liverpool as i am sure there is in much of south america and asia we know etc, but can you officially buy a shirt here thats not a copy with no money going to lvfc, not that i have seen.

    So from a business point of view, i believe he could have done better in all those years and this should have been the reason why he is leaving, but i doubt it is.

    Also as some have pointed out he was responsible for finding a buying from Moores but that took an awful awful long time and well maybe it was moores decision, but in the end the whole thing has been a disaster and we lost out there, so again another reason he should leave.

    i think ultimately he is leaving not for being forced as maybe should be in a business sense, but because he too must be sick of the mess there that he cannot sort out with 2 owners looking to get what they can and get out whether they admit it or not and a manager who i think is the best for us, but who really needs to improve his professionalism off the pitch. He needs to shut up and stick to football.

    While speaking about him, people can say many things and yes results speak for them selves and i think most red realistic fans would be happy with what he has achieved in the circumstances.
    who knows what he has had to spend and what restrictions he has had, no one.

    Yes he bought Babel and various defenders and Lukas who needs surely to go back to where he came from soon, but Babel for his first few months gave us a lot and looked great, now im not so sure but a striker he is not and a John Barnes although I would like him to be, i doubt he will be ever in this life time.
    However, if you dont have 30million to spend which he has never had on one person, how do you get a true world class winger or striker. Well you use your influence and get who is the best striker i think in Torres, so that one is at least a winner. The rest cant comment on as again with limited funds you cannot get who you want.

    We needed wingers and he got some, on the cheap although maybe over priced at same time, but with limited money what do you do! He may have spent 200M as one person said, but much came from sales of players although dont know why we got rid of Risse who is great in many positions and as fit as they come and maybe not 100% consistent but has many games as good as gerrard and a few goals too, but im not the manager and guess he wanted fresh blood.

    Anyway, transfers are never perfect and unless u know what budget he had and what control he had, then its all speculation and pointless. He has however had more success here than houlier and maybe more than the specialista one.. whos many many more expensive transfers have not lived up to their rep in the premier league either.

    Ultimately, could any other manager have come in and got liverpool the champions so soon and nearly and should have been again and would not bet against this year, think its them or united to be honest, great final that should have been last year...if only would have put in same effort against chelsea as against arsenal.

    who would we get, the chosen one special one... he would drive us crazy and would never get on with the divided americans who cannot get on with themselves and simply dont have more money to invest and why would they when they will im sure get out when they if they can, but hopefully at least the x milliones for kean who was never up to torres level can be added to and spent wisely and we must keep agger, whats going on there! pay the salary, skirtles great too, but if he gets injured and caragher wont go on for ever. But for sure Utd and chelsea will spend more in the summer and this is what we are up against and this is why to get the champions is a big acheivement and the league is not impossible, but is not easy.

    Even if they did or would have won it this year, would it be enough. No. It would have been seen as a big transition year for chelsea and a bad start for utd and we would have lost it the year afterwards without investment. As we did not get that huge investment after the champions league i am pretty sure we would not have got it after the league either.

    This all comes down to off field and thats Parry. to bring it in a circle, if he would have increased the revenue over the years and got a new ground many years ago when we could have filled 60 70 thousand w week, we would be on par with Utd, but now we are way off and so have to accept for the next few years the champions league is a hell of an achievement and twice is would be amazing.

    If we get through this season only having lost one entire game to spurs, then second place is assured and withing 10 points too I feel of utd. If we beat them which we can, then anything is possible, but with Lukas on the field and Utd getting into top gear and without slipping into a bad patch as we are, then it simply wont happen... but thats football... all unpredictable...

  • Comment number 75.

    to gdlfc60

    I take your point on lucas but babel, I hoped he would do well but hes just as bad as lucas, i havnt seen him make a pass in months,he came on with 10 mins against city gave the ball away 4 times and didnt even run hard, then against real gets a real go through the middle, his favourite position and was muck, he might not have got many passes but hes a pretender, has all the attributes to be a top player but has a stinking attitude ,i prefer to see el zahr ahead of him, sell him in the summer while we still might get a good price...

  • Comment number 76.

    Benitez has a much better record than Ferguson over his first four full seasons in charge of major EPL clubs in transition. Quit whingeing and let him get on with it.

  • Comment number 77.

    Benitez is nothing if not clever. He knows without doubt (last season was a good example) that his job lives or dies by the fans. He’s a hugely political animal.

    How many times has he washed Liverpool’s dirty linen in public just to get the fans on his side and now Parry is paying the price.

    It started last season. Only 3 months after declaring he was very satisfied with his summer spending and confident of the season ahead it was Benitez who decided to go to the media and decalre that he was unhappy that yet more money was not available in the January transfer window.

    Funny how this coincided with widespread fan and media criticism of his rotation policy, following a good start.
    The rest of that saga is history but Benitez started the whole fracas and the fans bought it.

    Fast forward to this season and suddenly, as Utd start to overtake Liverpool, it’s Utd get preferential treatment and Gill influences the FA. Stir up the fans time again…quickly followed by ‘I’m not signing my contract because I don’t have enough control over transfers’.

    You will, of course, note that he was never specific on that but it was a ruse to suggest that, having completely mis-managed Keane, he was not responsible.

    Next followed the thinly veiled attack on Parry over Agger’s new contract. It was ‘The Clubs’ fault for delaying the offer. It has since emerged that Agger is unhappy that he is not 1st choice….a player management issue!

    Now he’s back talking about his contract!

    Most of the above should be handled in private but Benitez plays the fans and, up until now, they have bought it.

    It’s been an incredibly emotional season for Liverpool fans. The Benitez out camp has been increasing as their PL challenge has started to disappear. But then they beat Real away and all is rosy again.

    My own opinion is that Benitez has been extremely poor in the transfer market, is tactically naiive (except in Europe where he is supposedly a genius!) and plays the fans constantly while exposing the club to ridicule.

    He’s had his 5 year plan and to me it looks like Houllier all over again. Liverpool fans have been seduced by leading the PL for so long this year. That was just down to a set of very unusual circumstances which I won’t revist now.

    In truth, Liverpool are no better than they were last year and will not win anything.

    The choice of whether Benitez goes or stays is in the hands of the fans and, so far, they have bought his political deception.

    As a Utd fan I hope he stays for a long time!

  • Comment number 78.

    The fuss made over their 1-0 victory against real Madrid is ridiculous. Kuyt was filling in for gerrard in the diving stakes, and they managed to win through a set piece, having sat back against a very lack lustre display from real. Both teams were dire; Liverpool got the goal. Well done. It wasn't as if they taught them a footballing lesson. Liverpool managed to escape two defeats against atletico by diving and getting lucky false offside rulings in their favour. I don't mind the luck so much, but I can't stand the constant gamesmanship from Liverpool players.

  • Comment number 79.

    well in their defence they tend to win or be very close to winning the trophy/prize for least red and yellow cards each season so it seems as if no referee agrees with us having more divers than the utd renaldos, chelseas many and well many pro players in the game.
    and it also seems liverpool are lucky in every years champions league, beating barcelona in the catalan stadium, now real madrid in theirs, two clubs bigger and with higher revenues than them as well as more transfer cash. outplaying ac milan and loosing the final etc and still they are the luckiest team in the competitions history.
    not sure what they have to do to get rid of that tittle, also not sure how many games utd have taken 3 points in last months in last few minutes... where as lvfc have done the same... this is life, football... you make your own luck to a certain extent and certainly over 5 seasons benitez has deserved what he has got, luck or not.. its been deserved and welcomed..
    anyway, its bed time

  • Comment number 80.

    Riise should never have been sold. It only shows how untenable a player's position in the club becomes after he scores an own goal. It was an innocent reflex error that gave Chelsea the equilizer, who were later good enough to progress at Liverpool's cost.
    The Norwegian was a hardworking and very effective defender who mostly stayed fit and at times scored goals for his club. He had to pay the price for scoring one at the wrng end. No doubt Riise's departure has left the club poorer. May be Roma are the lucky gainers, as well as that Riise realises his potential and happiness there.

    Although it is much simpler to catch the og makers on the pitch under the glare of lights and cameras, I am sure in time LFC will identify some more og scorers. Will they be able to purge them with equal despatch and zeal.

    What is the body and soul of a football club, the size of Liverpool? Which is that one entity or component that always acts in the best interest of the corpus to enable it to move forward? And wherever this directional faculty lies, does it have total control? How much concentration of power in one vital element will not prove detrimental to the overall good?.

    At the moment only United answer my disturbing questions. And they too had to struggle. They too get subjected to hate campaigns, motivated or springing from ordinary jealousy, or sometimes even deserved. They also have to live in the pack.
    Call it evolution under intense scrutiny if you will.

    The point I am straining to make is that it is tangibly possible to put in place a structure that goes on and on like a well oiled machine?

    It cannot be a one blanket, slide rule application for all clubs. The size, the history, the ethnicity, the mores, the taste and expectations of its founders are important aspects that cannot be ignored. There may be many more angles.

  • Comment number 81.

    Liverpool signed a number of players this summer. The focus has been on the Gareth Barry saga and the signing of Roy Keane.
    What surprises me is the number of comments, that dont place those two issues in the context of the other signings.

    I doubt very much that the cost of Barry was an issue. The issue was that he was a midfielder. Benitez set out his needs- a striker and support at full back positions. Add to that the need to improve goalscoring contributions from more positions. Barry came into the mix, because he can score. Alonso hasnt been productive as a scorer, mainly because of his reluctance to get into the box. I believe Benitez was asked to move a player on to take Barry, because he was using the money needed for other positions, not because of the valuation.

    The money, however, was available for Keane, because it ticked a box.
    We bought Dossena, 8million(?), a waste of money, and a poor choice. Adding to the record of Benitez has buying very poorly. I am going to stick my neck out and say that Torres will prove to be a one season wonder, so the star in the crown will fall out too!

    I say this because last season, was easily his highest scoring season and I think it will not be repeated. He seems easily hurt, and defenders will figure him out pretty quick. His first touch is poor, and provided you stay close he is easily relieved off the ball.
    I am rambling now, but my overall point is that Benitez is a shambles in the transfer market, and I dont see how we can blame Parry for that.

  • Comment number 82.

    Post 78,

    Go and have another look at the Atletico games, I think you will find most decisions went in favour of Atletico. Both teams had good goals chalked off and the penalty given at Anfield was not a dive, a strange decision ut not a dive. Do you know what a dive is?

    I don't know if you are a Utd fan but how many set peices are they gifted and subsequently score from. Ronaldo's set peices are invaluable to Utd. How many times do Everton score from set peices.

    It's sad that fans of other teams view performances in Europe through hatred-tinted glasses. Utd went to Barca last season and shut up shop; a performance that had the likes of Phil McNulty and the rest of the media frothing from the mouth in sycophantic admiration.

    Phil, why don't you ever respond to criticism (constructive or otherwise) of your blog's factual content? Maye if you were one of the fans that were let down by Parry in the Champs league final ticket fiasco you may feel differently.

  • Comment number 83.

    Phil McNulty blogs on teams other than Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal

  • Comment number 84.

    Dear Phil! Perry , Gillett , Hicks or Benitez, they're all trying to get on power! It sounds like in politics!!! and it's dirty. I'm very sorry about this, asking myself what are the players thinking about the happening?! It seams to be that through this dirty "PLAY" we (Liverpool) can't get the champ-league but, i hope at list the European one. If Perry-Gillett or Benitez-Hicks ??? Which side of the bed i should lay???? I hope only that these questions never be hanging around any more,, am i right or am i right?!

  • Comment number 85.

    liverpool are like a circus now. It's Just full of clowns, Oh! and a waiter sorry.

  • Comment number 86.

    Isnt it strange that a team sitting second in the PL should be so heavily criticised? Ok, so Rafa has had £200m in 5 years or so to spend - does that guarantee we will the PL, of course it doesnt! Much as i hate to say it, Utd are playing well and are the team to beat, it may all come down to the game against them but only if they slip up somewhere else aswell!
    Arsenal look a spent force, and I would love to see Villa upstage them and take fourth spot, Chelsea look like they are getting some form back but they have already blown any chance of winning the PL, so have we if I'm being honest - too many draws at home, not enough goals scored by us.
    Does this mean we should be looking to get rid of Rafa? Are you mad? He is undoubtedly our best manager since the golden era, and our best chance of winning the PL - it will happen, sooner rather than later - we dont have a right to win it 'cos we're Liverpool, but we will win it if we stick with Rafa in the way Utd stuck with Fergie.
    If Rafa were to go, heaven forbid, then the only guy I would want to see at Anfield would be a certain Mr. Mourinho as he is probably the best manager I have ever watched, and a tactical genius who could turn those 0-0 draws into wins - but what chance Jose joining the Reds?

  • Comment number 87.

    Most Liverpol fans seem to be happy with Parry's departure and those with longer memories can site good examples of how he has cost us in the transfer market. Personally I can't belive we let Danial Alves slip through the net for the sake of a couple of milion. Even if we'd bought him and sold again at the end of the season we would have nearly doubled our money. The Keane saga was the final straw.

    Parry also failed on the commercial front. We have one of the biggest fan bases in the game and yet we make a fraction of what the others do from marketing revenue.

    Lastly as Cheif Exec it was Parry's job to keep deliver board level backing for the manager. How he thought planting himself firmly in one camp was going to do that is beyond me.

    He may be a nice bloke but as a CEO he was a disaster.

  • Comment number 88.

    Parry has gone down in folklore as a mumbling, bumbling man out of his depth at Liverpool. A block on Rafa doing what he wants and a man unable to increase the income of the club. Of course somethings like the ticket fiasco for Athens are clearly his fault. Others are more a grey area.

    But to me this points to something more. I suspect the club will either be solely in Tom Hicks hands by the summer or that new owners are wating in the wings . This is why Rafa's contract has not been signed and why Parry has re-signed.

  • Comment number 89.

    Rafa's Power struggle?

    thw man just wants his CE to get the players he WANTS, parry, as highly regarded as he is, n a person i actually quite liked, was spineless in the transfer market... fergie tells gil, i want such n such abody n ill give them so moch or whatever they want (depending on the player) n gil goes n does it, parry seems to beet around the bush too much n its cost us dearly at times.

    hicks got it right last year when he was widely critisised for being so open, maybe a bit over the top wen saying its been a disaster, but there is no getting around the fact that outside of united, liverpool football club are the most markatble name in english football still, n only barca, madrid, inter and AC can claim to b on par or more marketable, n parry has failed to build up on that unlike united n say madrid who market the brand with unerring skill n ruthlessness, someting that liverpool need to do. n with that ill point out it ofc wont b rafa, he just wants some1 in that he can trust more, its not a new thing in football, if u cant trust the men completing the deals for u u just cant get the right players, n the cracks appear... as they have, n its no wonder rafa wanted to have more control over the people he signs.

  • Comment number 90.

    Just while the subject of the Barry i on my own to wonder how on earth anyone could see Barry as a better player than Alonso? I must have missed something somewhere. Don't get me wrong, what he does for Villa is nothing short of fantastic, but lets see some sense, there is no way that he would bring anything remotely similar to what Alonso brings to that team. Alonso is so assured, so athletic and dare i say it....probably the greatest passer of a ball under pressure than anyone else on the planet. So, while the argument brews over Parry no wanting Barry and Rafa not wanting keen, is anyone else out there slightly concerned that Rafa may still want to get rid of Alonso for an average Barry????

  • Comment number 91.

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  • Comment number 92.

    Parry should take Raffa, Lucas, Babel and Dossena with him!

  • Comment number 93.

    I was privelaged enough to work for LFC between 1979 and 1989 when we had a team second to none and business was conducted in what has come to be known as the 'Lverpool way'. I appreciate that media coverage today is light years ahead of what it was then and every last drop of information is bled out on a daily basis but believe me, the public bickering and laundering of dirty linen would never happen if the people who were running the club then were still there today.
    Don't think for one minute that there weren't arguements and mini power struggles going on from time to time behind the scenes then, there was; but that is where they stayed. I was lucky to work under the stewardship of Sir John Smith and Noel White who were abley supported by Peter Robinson, the best administrator English football has ever seen.
    The club's problems began when these people were not replaced by individuals of similar calibre just as much as those on the field weren't. The appointment of Parry was a logical one at the time in view of his role in setting up the Premier League, but as he's proved, he ain't no PBR.
    The rot began with the ridiculous appointment of dual managers in 1998 with the wrong man finally wrestling full control. Anyone who wants to dispute that should check Houllier and Benitez's league rcords against Evans's.
    Houllier turned Liverpool into a cup competition side and Benitez has carried on the mantle. The mantra of this club is the league first, second and last. These men, particularley Benitez never fully grasped this.
    When Moores decided he couldn't take the club any further, he said you only get one chance to sell the family silverware, boy did he get it wrong. the yanks are in it only for the money and its blown up in their face with the economic downturn. The vultures will be gathering now to try and pick LFC up for a song when July comes and the banks won't refinance the loans. Our best hope is that somebody who understands properly the meaning of 'The Liverpool way' acquires the club and restores these values because there are precious few remnants of them left.
    Parrys departure was inevitable, Benitez is a good manager in his own right but the very antithesis of everything Liverpool have stood for over the last 50 years. Liverpool managers always picked their best teams and didn't worry about the opposition. This guy chops and changes with every game we play and is more obsessed with picking teams that don't lose rather going out to win (The current difference between Man U and us and why they will win the league again). Gillet and Hicks?
    Should we be so surprised? Their understanding of the game and the club's culture is worse than the managers.
    I don't know what the solution is but I would feel a lot better if they all left together. We need fresh blood but a bit of the old stuff in the transfusion.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    i wonder if the bbc might like to explain why my article has been referred to moderators because I put in it that the yank owners "should just **** off"

    Yet it's ok for the BBC to broadcast the word "arse" early morning on Andrew Marr's show.

    I've now amended my article to read "should just arse off" as this seems more acceptable.

    I think that's what you call double standards - hypocrites.

  • Comment number 96.

    The conceptions some people have are ridiculous. Rafa doesn't want control over funds, he wants control over his budget. He will not be saying how much is spent, rather he will be saying how his allotted budget is spent, and upon whom it is spent. Anyone who thinks that is unreasonable is clearly unaware of how this business operates. Rafa won't be signing the cheques will he? So it stands to reason that he still has to make a compelling case for buying a player. I laugh at the clowns here who think that Rafa will be getting the keys to the city, chequebook & pen, lock, stock and smoking barrel. That is not the case. He simply wants to build his own team using players whom HE WANTS.

    I think he is right. Parry was useless in transfer negotiations, and I think that if he is buying the players then he should step up and be a manager instead of buying them and then hiding behind 'the Liverpool Way', a grand euphemism for avoiding responsibility for bringing second rate players to the club. If Rafa buys the players and then messes up, fair enough, but you cannot blame a manager who has his hands tied.

    Robbie Keane, Daniel Agger, both are signings given to him whereas I would much preferred Alves, Vidic, Abou Diaby etc. I don't think Rafa is wrong at all. If Parry knew so much about players he would be managing the team. As it stands he was a meddler. What is the point of a manager who isn't allowed to manage? When is a manager not a manager?

    Sometimes there isn't a bad guy, just the wrong guy. In this case Parry is most definitely that. Liverpool are in desperate need of modernisation. It isn't the 70s and 80s now. A way of doing things should not be sacred if it doesn't work. Liverpool have been banging their heads against a wall for two decades now and change is long overdue. Whether or not Rafa wins the PL is irrelevant, no manager should have someone else choosing his players. Whatever manager comes in should have autonomy over buying players. Of course, the board can still veto, but that is different, if the board thinks the odd player is too risky then that's one thing, but having some yahoo say 'I like him, let's bring him to the club' must be absolutely infuriating, especially if Liverpool can't get Robbie Keane scoring when Rafa didn't want him in the first place.

    If you don't think so, then look at what happened when Abramovic bought Shevchenko - 31 million pound donkey and Chelsea still haven't recovered from Abramovic's meddling. Mourinho was winning and winning, as soon as the owner or suchlike gets involved it all goes wrong. Now they have a team of retirees plus Florent Malouda and a couple of full backs. Of course, Malouda would have been a bad signing, but that doesn't make Benitez wrong. Anybody remember a certain Mr Veron? They all make mistakes, sometimes costly ones, but you cannot argue with the managers who have won everything, and Fergie has done so, with no one else picking the team.

    The most successful clubs are not committees, they are teams, and teams are managed by managers, not committees. If you think Rafa is so bad - why have Real Madrid been after him for years? Because he is a good manager and he will prove it when given the chance to do his job properly.

  • Comment number 97.

    And for the record, Parry is a nice guy. Since when did nice guys ever win anything?

  • Comment number 98.

    'He is a classic case for fans never taking positions of power at their club . '

    This is so true - just like the lawyer who defended himself.

  • Comment number 99.

    'What other business would allow a Works Manager (read Team Coach) to have total control over the companies finances? '

    You see, this sort of ignorance is what the problem is in these discussions. He doesn't want control over the finances. THINK MAN. He wants to spend his budget on the players he wants.

  • Comment number 100.

    mavericklfc...just noticed this post on the blog - with its reference to Peter Robinson.

    I was fortunate enough to deal with Peter Robinson in a previous life and I agree with every word you say about him.

    I would not compare Rick Parry with him because times change and Parry is dealing in a different world now, but when Robinson was at Liverpool I firmly believed that he was greatest administrator football had ever had up to that point.

    He was tireless in his devotion to Liverpool Football Club, a forward thinker and a man who got just about every important call right. I cannot speak highly enough of him.

    It was not uncommon to put a check call into his office well after midnight after find him picking up the phone, despite having been in his office from 8am that morning.

    It would fascinate me to see how he would have dealt with the current Liverpool management, but I have no doubt he would have adapted. He was that good.


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