Rafael Benitez has blamed Liverpool’s decline after 2008-09 on the appointment of managing director Christian Purslow.
Liverpool finished second in the 2009 Premier League but they finished seventh last season and Benitez left the club, while this season they languish in the relegation zone.
Now at Inter, Benitez has said it was the appointment of Purslow in June 2009 that changed matters at the club and he believes that was the critical factor in the club’s decline.
“I prefer not to talk too much about Liverpool,” he said. “I prefer not to talk about this because I feel really sorry for the fans. I was watching the fans and I was really sad after the defeat the other day (against Everton).
“We have a saying in Spanish, which is: ‘White liquid in a bottle has to be milk’. What does this mean? It means that after 86 points and finishing second in the league, what changed?
“The Americans, they chose a new managing director and everything changed. So, what changed?
“The managing director is involved in all the decisions: new lawyer, new chief of press, new manager, nine new players, new medical staff, new fitness coaches – they changed everything.
“At the beginning, they changed the managing director who was talking with some players, and they changed everything that we were doing in the past. So, if you want to ask again what was going on, it’s simple: they changed something and, at the end, they changed everything.
“So, white liquid in a bottle: milk. You will know who is to blame.”
Pressed further on the matter, Benitez would only say: “White liquid in a bottle. If I see John the milkman in the Wirral, where I was living, with this bottle, I’d say, ‘It’s milk, sure’.”
Purslow is still at Liverpool and was instrumental in helping New England Sports Ventures (NESV) secure the takeover of the club against the wishes of former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.