‘Benitez’s job is safe’

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez’s job is not under threat despite his team’s elimination from the Champions League, according to managing director Christian Purslow.

The five-time European champions beat Debrecen 1-0 Tuesday but were still knocked out of the competition because Fiorentina beat Lyon in the other Group E match.

”You can never predict last-minute goals, which have cost us dear in the Champions League,” Purslow said. ”That’s no basis to make managerial decisions. We don’t run our business in that respect.

”Rafa’s signed a new five-year contract. He’s four months into that contract, so to discuss that is not appropriate. He is under no threat.”

Benitez won the Champions League in 2005 at the end of his first year with Liverpool, but he must now settle for a spot in the Europa League this season.

Despite the TV revenues and prize money being far less lucrative than the Champions League, Purslow said the financial impact on Liverpool would be ”limited”.

”Assuming we have a reasonable run in the Europa League then we are financially neutral for this year,” Purslow said.

Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. are searching for investors to inject £100-million pounds into the club to reduce their debt of £245-million. — Sapa-AP

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