Benitez would benefit from 'nice escalator' - Hicks

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will be handsomely rewarded if he wins a second Champions League in three seasons but it will not mean a new contract for the Spaniard.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will be handsomely rewarded if he wins a second Champions League in three seasons but it will not mean a new contract for the Spaniard.

Benitez signed a new four-year deal in June last year to stave off interest from Real Madrid.

And co-owner Tom Hicks revealed that contract should provide adequately for the Anfield boss.

“He is under contract. His existing contract has a nice escalator if he wins the Champions League. I think that would take care of his immediate needs,” said Hicks, who along with George Gillett took over the club in April.

The American duo are both in Athens to watch the final and neither can quite believe what they have bought into.

Gillett, owner of the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey team, said: “We are nervous and tense but also very grateful. To have this work out this well in our first season is really unexpected.”

Hicks, who owns the Dallas Stars ice hockey team and the Texas Rangers baseball franchise, added: “It’s bigger than anything George or I have ever had a chance to participate in.

“It only seems like yesterday I was reading up on the internet about the miracle comeback in Istanbul and now all of a sudden we are here in Athens. It’s all happened very quickly.

“Winning would help us to achieve all our plans to develop the club as a truly global brand but just being here in the final helps.”

Even though Liverpool are playing in their third final in two years the priority remains winning the Premier League and this summer will be key for Benitez as the Americans’ takeover has provided him with a huge transfer fund.

However, Gillett said there was not a bottomless pit of cash and the money would be used for certain targets which have already been identified.

“We believe in our manager and within reason we will support him as he goes about trying to improve the squad,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“It’s not £5million and it’s not £50million. It’s player specific.”

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