Benitez Credits FSG for Club’s Position

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez thinks that Fenway Sports Group have been a key factor in the club’s position as serious title contenders.

When FSG took over ownership of the club in October 2010 it was in bad shape, having been run into the ground by previous owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks. Benitez had recently departed the club having made some poor transfer decisions in his final few windows, and his replacement Roy Hodgson had given the squad a significant further downgrade with the players he brought in during his short tenure.

However the club has seen a steady rise in fortunes over the nine years that have followed, most notably since the appointment of Jurgen Klopp as manager in 2015.

The Reds achieved their highest ever points total last season and find themselves eight points clear at the top of the league in the current campaign. For the first time in 30 years they are the bookies favourites to win the title, and have reported a record-breaking increase in bets placed on the league trophy finally returning to Anfield.

Klopp has managed to take some players already at the club to new levels, but the main factor in his success has been his forays into the transfer market – with the club regularly spending big money to secure the players the manager has wanted. Benitez believes it is FSG’s willingness to put their money where their mouth is that has been crucial.

During his time at the helm Benitez was often forced to opt for his second or third choice signings, but he says that the current Liverpool set-up is a much smoother operation than the one he had to work with during his difficult final years.

Speaking to Four-Four-Two, Benitez said: “My memories of Liverpool are really good with (former owner) David Moores, but he couldn’t spend the money to compete against the other teams.

“When he decided to sell, I think it was to the wrong people. It was very clear – I knew that and the fans knew that, then afterwards, was the proof.

“Now I think they have a model that is more competitive. They make the right decisions, which means they are able to compete with Manchester City.”

Benitez almost clinched the Premier League title with Liverpool in 2009, but ultimately missed out to Manchester United by four points. He currently coaches Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League.

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