Hicks looks to the long-term

LIVERPOOL co-owner Tom Hicks expects to be at Anfield just as long as manager Rafael Benitez.

Hicks and co-owner George Gillett must re-finance £300million (€319m) plus of loans in July to maintain their control of Anfield, but the implication to Hicks’ words is that he expects to be able to find the finance to do just that.

That may well mean taking on another partner – probably Middle-Eastern – to replace Gillett, who is known to want to sell his stake.

“Rafa is going to be here for the next five years, I know I am going to be here for the next five years,” Hicks confirmed.

Internal politics had led to doubts about the former Valencia boss’ position at the club but Hicks believes there was never a real possibility of him leaving.

He added: “These things are complicated. A five-year contract is complicated, so I’m just relieved we finally got it done.

From the supporters’ point of view, to have it done on top of such a great week on the pitch is great.”

Hicks played down long-running reports that the delay was down to a power struggle – and in particular disagreement over transfer policy.

He said: “That was never really true. I sat down with Rafa a couple of months ago and he made it very clear that he knows a manager can’t have control over transfer budget.

“He has had his frustrations over the last five years and those are well chronicled but he will make the recommendations about which players we sign and the new chief executive, the owners and the board will make the final financial commitment. And that is the way it needs to be.”

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