I see sacking Benitez isn't going to stop the exodus of players. Awesome. Like that ever was the case.
Yes, it's not official yet, but it's been mooted so long it's bound to happen. Benayoun's on his way to Chelsea, and all that's left is figuring how much more than £5m Liverpool will get. It certainly won't be double that, the supposed asking price. And I know it's shouting into the wind, but maybe let's not let Broughton take part in negotiations?
It'll be a shame to see Benayoun leave. It's even worse to see him on his way to Chelsea. The squad's already paper-thin. There's already a dearth of useful creative players who can change a game. And Yossi was unforgettably one of Liverpool's best two seasons ago – you know, when the team was good.
This is the new Anfield, the new Liverpool, under its two loving owners.
My sole consolation was the sale was evidently in the works before Benitez was fired. Maybe it's part of 'the plan' (not saying there is a plan, as going two weeks without Rafa's replacement suggests a lack of one). Maybe it's not the first trickle of the incredible awfulness that would be a fire sale of Liverpool's top players.
We honestly don't know the full extent of Liverpool's woes – just that we're woeful right now. My cynical suspicion is that the owners want to sell a bunch of big names this summer in an attempt to pay down the debt before selling the club, but my hope is that selling the main assets when you're trying to sell the club is stupidity beyond even Hicks and Gillett.
Regardless of the situation, it's still infuriating and was avoidable, and the owners still need to be held accountable more than ever – which is why I keep bringing up the likes of Spirit of Shankly. Supporters, no matter where they live, need to have some sort of representation in the fight to oust the cancerous owners. Spirit of Shankly seems the best hope of that by some distance.
In an ideal world, Liverpool would be able to keep Benayoun and add to the squad, and we'd have never heard the names of Thomas Hicks and George Gillett. Sadly, that's not reality. The reality is that Yossi Benayoun is 30 years old, and Liverpool paid £5m for him three years ago. While I wish moving from Liverpool to Chelsea weren't a step up, that's the situation we're in after this season. He'll probably get a nice pay raise, signing his last big contract. It's hard to begrudge that, and if he wants out, so be it. Liverpool's fairly compensated – or as fairly compensated as they're gonna be – and it's crucial that every player actually wants to be here, willing to fight for the shirt, with the situation the club's in. See: almost everything Pepe Reina says.
If selling him helps avoid selling the likes of Gerrard or Torres, it's for the "best." As key as Yossi's been in the past, he's still more expendable than others. Liverpool has Kuyt and Maxi on the right, Gerrard in the hole, and Benayoun's rarely been at his best on the left. There's also the chance Pacheco will get more opportunities – and I'm almost positive Dani counts as a homegrown player starting next season (having joined in July 2007).
And honestly, the real reality of the situation is that £6m, which is what the fee will probably end up being, only covers Liverpool's interest payments for 54 and a half days.
Again, thanks for everything, George and Tommy.