Wednesday 22 November 2017

Liverpool fans turn ire on managing director in demonstration at Benitez's exit

Rory Smith

Liverpool supporters turned their ire on the club’s managing director Christian Purslow on Thursday night as more than 500 demonstrated at Anfield, calling for his dismissal and burning American flags, a direct message to his employers Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

The spontaneous demonstration, organised through internet forums, Facebook and Twitter in the aftermath of reports on Wednesday that manager Rafael Benitez was close to leaving the club “by mutual consent,” began outside the Kop at 6pm.

Organisers insisted the aim of the protest was not to safeguard Benitez’s job, but to indicate to Hicks and Gillett, who have laden Liverpool with £351m of debt, that no decision of theirs as the club’s owners will be welcomed.

Paul Rice, of the supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly, said: “This is another example of how this club has become the biggest farce in town. In a sense, Benitez is just collateral damage. When you look at Liverpool in a general manner, who will want to take the club on?”

The roles of both Purslow and chairman Martin Broughton in the dismissal of Benitez has concerned Liverpool fans.

Both men were ostensibly brought in to secure investment in the club, but Purslow remains in situ almost a year on, while Broughton’s initial remit was a non-executive one, and he has made it clear he is not involved in the day-to-day running of the club, yet it was his name which appeared on the statement which confirmed the Spaniard’s departure.

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