Benitez hits out at Liverpool MD despite massive payoff

Rafael Benitez has hit out at Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow's handling of his golden handshake departure from the Merseyside club earlier this month.

Rafael Benitez has hit out at Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow's handling of his golden handshake departure from the Merseyside club earlier this month.

The Spaniard agreed to end his six-year tenure at Anfield by mutual consent following a below-par season that saw the Reds finish seventh in the Premier League table while they also crashed out of the Champions league at the group stage.

Those disappointments came just a season after the Reds had challenged for the Premier League title - an abrupt turnaround in fortunes that served to hasten Benitez's departure.

He has since been unveiled as Jose Mourinho's successor at Champions League winners Inter Milan.

The 50-year-old has admitted his sadness at leaving the club he famously led to Champions League glory in 2005, but today blamed Purslow, who joined Liverpool last June, for prompting his exit.

"It was really sad," he told Radio City.

"I was on holiday so it was a surprise that everything was going on in this way, but at the end of the day it has to be like this because Christian Purslow is now in charge and he decided to do it in this way. That is it.

"It is really sad but you have to move forwards. I said to my family that we cannot stay talking too much or complain too much, we have to move forwards.

"The people of Liverpool are fighters and I was fighting from the beginning until the end. Now I have to do the same and I have to be thinking about the future.

"I was really pleased here, the fans were amazing, but I can't stand around complaining. I have to move forward and do my best for my new club."

Benitez's departure added to the uncertainty at Anfield with the club's American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett already looking to sell the club.

Their decision to sell up has been welcomed by the majority of Liverpool fans, who perceive a lack of investment in the transfer market proceeded their poor season.

That belief is likely to be strengthened by Benitez's latest comments, with the Spaniard admitting there had been a tighter control on spending this past season.

"It's strange. This year everything changed from the beginning," he said.

"People in the club changed and the approach to everything was different. Clearly it was a question in the beginning of controlling the money we could spend or not, and everything was different to the past.

"We were so close to winning the title the year before that everybody was expecting something more but we couldn't do it.

"We had some problems from the beginning with injuries and some performances, and there was a little bit of frustration.

"At the end the atmosphere was different and we can see now during the summer that the fans are not very happy."

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