Hicks and Gillett must not be tempted to bite the £18m bullet

Football FanCast guest columnist Mark Watson feels for the sake of Liverpool's financial plight that both Hicks and Gillett must not be tempted to sack Rafa Benitez.

When George Gillett came out in support of Rafa Benitez and claimed that we are all in this together, there was an air of cynicism in the media of the intentions of the Liverpool owner, given what he has said about the man weeks before. I was pleasantly surprised to hear of Gillett's backing, until it dawned on me what the real reasoning is probably behind it.

It must be a bitter pill for Gillett to swallow, because as much as he despises Rafa he knows he cannot do anything to change it as the club doesn't have £18m at its disposal in order to pay the Spaniard off. It is an unfortunate situation that the club is in at the moment and why the media and some supporters fear that defeat against United could spell the end for Rafa Benitez, there is absolutely no way the club could afford to make such a hasty decision like that. I mean if Rafa was only given £1.5m to buy a defender towards deadline day, despite bringing in £40m+ in sales in the summer, then they are certainly in no position to pay off the remaining four years of his new deal that was signed only a few months ago…are they?

I am sure that I am not the only Kopite who is totally behind Rafa Benitez and is refusing to buy into the clamour to see him replaced due to the indifferent start to our season. Yes it has been disappointing, yes it would have been nice to see in a much stronger position in both the Champions and Premier Leagues, but as long as I can remember, I have never known prizes to be awarded in October, so why the panic? You certainly don't become a bad team or a bad manager overnight!

I am not sure what everyone else's view on the matter is, but if someone can tell me the benefit of removing Benitez, even if we lose to both United and Arsenal in the coming weeks, then I would like to hear it. From the outset it doesn't look like the club could afford to do it and I genuinely hope that they don't look to jeopardise our financial future to satisfy those supporters and the media that are baying for change. It would also prove a real kick in the teeth to see the club pay off Rafa's current contract, where had Rafa been given that sort of money in the first place and some actual financial backing from the owners, then perhaps our squad wouldn't look as lightweight as is does. Cool heads are needed from both Hicks and Gillett here, regardless of the result tomorrow as the last thing the football club need in its current financial state is them biting this £18m bullet. Rafa will get it right in time, he just needs patience and a bit of luck – something that we have hardly been blessed with of late.