Red News


JANUARY              2010
7 8 9



Liverpool director Tom Hicks Jnr
sends fan abusive email

Relations between Liverpool fans and the club’s owners plumbed new depths on Saturday night after it emerged that Tom Hicks Jnr, a director at Anfield, had sent an obscene and abusive email to a supporter concerned over the side’s finances.
Hicks Jr first called the fan an “idiot” after receiving a message containing a newspaper article concerning the challenge facing the Liverpool manager, Rafael Benítez, to cope with the club’s £240 million debt while keeping the team competitive.
Just before 4am on Saturday in Texas (10am in England), where Hicks and his father, Tom, are based, Hicks sent an obscene, expletive-strewn second message, ending: “Go to hell. I’m sick of you.”

Benitez should not have
to manage Liverpool FC's debt

While Liverpool are crying out for investment in their playing staff, had they cashed in on Babel, Benitez’s best hopes of spending a figure in excess of £9m this month would be to invest in a lottery ticket and hope all six numbers
come up.
In the others words, the money would have been swallowed up to help finance the £240m debt the club is trying to manage; club insiders insist that is not the case and the deficit is manageable but critics of Tom Hicks and George Gillett will beg to differ.
True, it’s worth remembering the January window is capricious and top quality players – the type who would provide an injection of star quality Liverpool require – are not freely available; if they are, invariably clubs will have to pay
over the odds.
Still it is hugely disappointing, to put it mildly, that Benitez will be limited to bringing just Maxi Rodriguez in for £1.5m when he also desperately needs experienced cover at right-back for the stricken Glen Johnson.
If he is unable to bring in a specialist for that area – and it is looking all the more likely – it will be hard to escape the feeling that Liverpool’s main aim for the next few years will be debt reduction rather than trophy gathering.
(Dominic KIng - Liverpool Echo)

Dynamo Moscow complete
1.8m signing of Liverpool flop Voronin

Dynamo Moscow have completed the £1.8million signing of Liverpool striker Andriy Voronin.
Snow prevented the 30-year-old flying to the Russian capital earlier this week, but Dynamo have finalised the deal before their first team head for a winter training camp in Belek, Turkey, on Sunday.
CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg also enquired about the Ukraineinternational, but Dynamo made the strongest offer as they seek to fillthe void left by Russia striker Alexander Kerzhakov, who is set for areturn to Zenit.
Voronin has sought help from Everton's summer Russian recruit Diniyar Bilyaletdinov as he hunts for a new home.
Bilyaletdinov, who left Lokomotiv Moscow for Merseyside in August, put his Merseyside rival in touch with a estate agent.
Both Dynamo and Voronin have been coy on the impending transfer, with the club's sporting director Konstantin Sarsania only revealing they were about to sign a 'foreign striker'.
(Daily Mail/LFC Online)
Liverpool v Tottenham postponed
The Premier League have agreed to Liverpool's request for Sunday's home clash with Tottenham to be postponed due to safety reasons.
The Anfield club made their request on Friday morning after consultation with police over what they felt was dangerous road conditions around the stadium.
The match, which would have been screened live by Sky, was eventually called off after further discussions between the club and the league.
The Anfield pitch was playable due to undersoil heating, but roads around the stadium are covered in ice, and the police considered that a danger to a potential sell-out crowd of 45,000.
A Liverpool spokesman said: "The football side of the club obviously wanted to play the match.
"But this is a safety issue. The local roads around Anfield are little more than sheets of ice and very dangerous. The police and the local council both agreed with our request to the league."
The decision means that midfielder Javier Mascherano will now still be banned for next Wednesday's FA Cup third round home replay with Reading.
Mascherano has been serving a four-match suspension after being sent off at Portsmouth on December 20.
The Spurs game would have been the fourth match of that ban, but the Argentina captain will now have to sit out Wednesday's replay.
Mascherano had been recovering from a knee injury and returned to training on Friday with the intention of being fit to face Reading.

Liverpool close to Rodriguez deal
Liverpool have "more or less agreed" a deal to bring Atletico Madrid winger Maxi Rodriguez to Anfield, according to manager Rafael Benitez.
The Argentina international, 29, who is a close friend of Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano, is likely to sign an 18-month contract with the Reds.
With Fernando Torres hampered by a niggling groin injury, Benitez is keen to bolster his attacking options.
"Now it's for Atletico and Maxi to talk and see what happens," he said.
"It's true we've talked to Atletico Madrid and we're interested in the player but still it's just conversations.
"You never know with timescales. It's a question of everything being more
or less agreed."
Rodriguez can play on the right or as an attacking midfielder, although with Steven Gerrard normally occupying that position Benitez is likely to employ the 29-year-old on the wing.
(BBC Sport Online)

Injury update
Javier Mascherano is nearing full fitness again.
Mascherano is back in training and should be available for selection once his four game suspension is over.
Albert Riera is also back in training now. Unfortunately Glen Johnson is still facing a month out.
"Riera and Mascherano are training, and that is good. More or less the majority of the team are available," said Rafa Benitez.
"Glen is doing well but it's too early. It's a question of one month, maybe
a little bit more.
"He will carry on resting and improving."
(LFC Online)

Rafa on Dossena move
Rafael Benitez has commented on Andrea Dossena's transfer to Napoli.
"He wasn't playing too many games," said the Liverpool boss. "He wanted to play because of the world Cup so its a situation that was good for both."
The Italian has signed a four-year contract with the Serie A side.
(LFC Online)

Rafa coy on Babel transfer talk
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has neither ruled in nor ruled out a January departure for Dutchman Ryan Babel.
Birmingham had an £8m bid turned down earlier in the week for the 23 year old but are reported to have returned with a £9m offer.
Speaking at the Friday press conference at Melwood, Benitez said “We have received some offers but the player was clear the other day when he told me he wants to stay.
“We have to wait. I was not telling him he could go, just that we were receiving offers because he’s a good player. That’s the situation at this moment.
“At this moment everyone knows Ryan has the potential and he can improve.”
Yesterday Babel’s agent said “We know Liverpool are thinking seriously about the amount Birmingham have offered. We need to look at how Birmingham’s squad is being built up, how the prospects for future success appear and listen to what the manager has to say.”
“Ryan would still like to be successful with Liverpool. If the people at Anfield feel it is better for him to leave…we would consider a deal if both clubs come to
an agreement.”
Speaking after the Reading match last week Benitez said “He (Babel) will have a chance to play. He has to work hard. He’s our player and he will have his chances. At this moment we are not trying to sell him.”
Babel arrived at Anfield for £11.5m in 2007 from Ajax. He has started just two league games this season.
(This is Anfield)

Dossena completes
Napoli move

Andrea Dossena’s transfer to Napoli has been confirmed after the defender completed a medical and agreed personal terms on a £4.4m move.
As reported earlier in the week, the two clubs agreed the deal but the move was delayed due to the weather preventing Dossena to fly to Italy in order to complete the switch.
The 28 year old Italian joined Liverpool from Udinese 18 months ago for £7m but failed to settle in England and the Premier League. He has made just five appearances this season, three as starts.
Dossena made 31 appearances for Liverpool, scoring twice – both within a week and incredibly both the fourth goals in the wins over Real Madrid and Man United.
(This is Anfield)

Tottenham boss Redknapp:
Liverpool still top four favourites

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp says it's crazy to write-off Liverpool's
top four hopes.
Spurs go to Anfield this weekend in a huge top four decide.
Redknapp wrote in his column for The Sun: "I still don't think we should write Liverpool off for the fourth Champions' League place.
"Seven teams will be scrapping it out for the top four spots including us, Villa and Manchester City. But Liverpool will be the ones to beat if Torres and Steven Gerrard stay fit.
"And if I had to stake my life on it, I would still make Liverpool favourites
for fourth."
Dawson aiming
to thwart Torres

Michael Dawson has warned Liverpool striker Fernando Torres that Tottenham are not in the mood to end their run of clean sheets this weekend.
Spurs did not concede a goal over the Christmas period and start 2010 in the top four of the Premier League, with a four-point lead on Liverpool that could be extended to seven with victory at Anfield on Sunday.
Dawson is well aware of the threat Spain striker Torres poses. Since arriving at Liverpool, the 25-year-old has scored three times against Spurs.
"Whenever I play against Torres he's a top class player, you saw that against Villa when he scored in the last minute," Dawson added. "We'll have to be at our best on Sunday but let's hope we can make it six clean sheets in a row.
"When we beat them at the start of the season it was a fantastic performance by the lads and got us off to a great start to the campaign, so we believe we can do it at Anfield."

Dossena on his way
Andrea Dossena's move to Napoli has been agreed, subject to a medical.
The Italian defender has spent the day at the Serie A club's Castelvolturno training ground in Caserta and is expected to put pen to paper imminently.
Dossena joined Liverpool from Udinese in the summer of 2008 for £7million, but failed to impress despite a memorable goal in the 4-1 win at Man Utd last season.
An official announcement from Napoli is expected within the next few hours.
(LFC Online)

Agent: Albert Riera is not
leaving Liverpool for Olympiacos

Liverpool winger Albert Riera is not about to depart Anfield and join Olympiacos, according to his agent Angel Castell.
The Greek outfit were reported on Wednesday to be lining up a bid for the wide player after their £5 million offer for Yossi Benayoun was apparently rejected by the Reds.
But Castell insists that his client remains focused on recovering full match fitness after problems with hamstring injuries this season, and is keen to reclaim a place in Rafa Benitez's starting line-up.
"I have not heard from Olympiacos at all," the agent told Sky Sports.
"Albert has this year and two more years to go on his contract and he wants to stay at Liverpool.
"Albert is just thinking about recovering from injury and getting back into
the team."
( UK)

Torres: Reina's the best
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres rates club and country team-mate Jose Reina as the best goalkeeper in the world.
With players in virtually every position under-achieving this season, Reina has been the only one to consistently produce high standards for the Reds.
In the recent victory at Aston Villa the Spain international made some instinctive, crucial saves - and that is why Torres rates him so highly.
"Like always he's having a really good season. For me he's now the best keeper in the world," said the 25-year-old.
"In Spain everyone knows he's a very good keeper and in England there is no doubt he is the best.
"He's played at a top level since he signed here and won many Golden Gloves (for the most clean sheets) - and hopefully he'll win one more this season.
"He's having a massive season and at Villa we won the game thanks to him.
"We must be really happy to have him in the team and hopefully he'll be here for a long time."
Torres has also hailed Reina's influence off the pitch and believes the experienced 27-year-old is a vital member of the squad.
"Pepe is one of the most important players in the dressing room," he said.
"After Stevie (Gerrard) and Carra (Jamie Carragher), I think he's the most important. He's always happy round the place, not just on the pitch but in the dressing room.
"He is always trying to be positive and is a really good professional."
(Press Association Sport)

Liverpool FC ready to rival Arsenal
in battle to sign Marouane Chamakh

Liverpool are ready to rival Arsenal in the battle to sign Bordeaux’s highly-rated striker Marouane Chamakh.
The Moroccan striker has been the subject of much speculation this season and is keen on a move to the Premier League determined to eager to sign
a pre-contract.
Chamakh has long been linked with a move to Arsenal but the Gunners have not followed up their initial interest yet with a firm bid and that has alerted
Rafa Benitez.
(Liverpool Echo)

Quintet in race for Reds ace Babel
Ryan Babel's agent has claimed Liverpool are seriously considering selling the winger and that "five or six" clubs are interested in him.
The 23-year-old has failed to hold down a regular first-team place at Anfield following his £11million move from Ajax in 2007.
Birmingham are believed to have tabled a bid of around £9million for Babel and, although agent Winne Haatrecht claims his client is still determined to succeed at Liverpool, he admitted they are looking at other options.
"We know that Liverpool are seriously thinking about the offer from Birmingham but we shall only consider a transfer if the clubs have an agreement," Haatrecht told De Telegraaf.
"Then we will see how Birmingham are building their squad, what the prospects are for the club and Ryan, and perhaps, after that an interview with the manager.
"I have sent details of all the interested clubs to Liverpool. There are about five or six of them.
"In general, Ryan still wants to succeed at Liverpool but, if the club concludes that it is better he leaves, we will have to think about the next chapter."

Voronin weighs up Russia move
Andriy Voronin's agent has confirmed the Liverpool misfit is weighing up a move to Russia.
The Ukraine international does not figure in Rafa Benitez's plans and the Reds boss is ready to offload him to raise funds for his own signings in this month's transfer window.
Voronin was farmed out on loan to Hertha Berlin last season and although he impressed in Germany he has failed to nail down a place in the Liverpool side.
Dinamo Moscow are understood to be the Russian side chasing Voronin and the player's agent, Andriy Golovach, has confirmed the striker is poised
to leave Anfield.
"He has received a concrete offer from a Russian top-flight outfit as he is having the final say," Golovach told Ukrainian newspaper Gaseta.
"In terms of his Liverpool deal it is about a cancellation right now, not about a new loan transfer."
Hertha Berlin have also been linked with a move to bring Voronin back to the German capital, but Golovach insists the player has no plans to return to the Bundesliga outfit with the club facing a massive struggle to avoid relegation.
"Hertha BSC is almost in Bundesliga 2, Andriy does not want to get part of a relegation dogfight," added Golovach.
(Sky Sports)

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