Saturday, May 29, 2010

New UEFA Rules Mean Liverpool Will Find It Eenormously Difficult' To Get Back Into The Champions League

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates believes that Liverpool will find it “enormously difficult” to reclaim a place in the Champions League due to the new financial rules that UEFA are introducing.

The new rules will mean that clubs will only be able to spend money that they earn, and the Stoke chairman believes that this will just benefit those clubs already in the Champions League, increasing their financial power.

Liverpool have already missed out on an estimated £30 million for failing to qualify for next year’s Champions League and Coates believes this could prove to be costly.

"It has been great this year with Spurs doing so well but Liverpool could find it enormously difficult with these new rules to get back into the Champions League, which causes the biggest distortion in football," he told BBC Radio Five.

Coates added that whilst he agreed with the principles of the new rules, he believes that in reality, they are simply widening the gap between the top teams and everyone else.

"I have a reservation about these new rules, in that it will affect clubs who want to get into Europe because it is going to reinforce what I call a quadopoly.

"What [UEFA president] Michel Platini is recommending on the whole seems sensible and good but it means up to £50m for playing in the Champions League and it will reinforce those top clubs and make it very difficult for anyone to break into that,” he added.

Teams like Manchester City and Chelsea could be those worse hit by the new rules, as UEFA aim to clamp down on ‘sugar daddies’ bankrolling clubs with limitless funds.

Stringent checks by an independent watchdog will look to prevent owners from bypassing the rules with massive sponsorship deals. The panel will survey all deals from companies affiliated to owners to ensure that they are not paying over the market rate in an attempt to boost revenue.

Despite their failure to qualify for the Champions League this year, Liverpool are thought to be unworried about meeting the new rules set out by UEFA.

The club has dramatically increased their commercial revenue over the past three years, second only to Manchester United, according to Deloitte.

They earned £67.7m from commercial revenues last year, just behind Manchester United’s £70m, and considerably in front of Chelsea’s £52.8m.

Amoo Commits To Reds understands that Academy star David Amoo has signed a new two-year deal with Liverpool.

The 19-year-old moved to Merseyside from Millwall in 2007 and has continued to progress through the club's ranks.

An extremely fast right winger who can also play up front, Amoo is regarded as a bright prospect for the future.

His potential has not gone unnoticed and it is thought that Arsenal and Fulham were both keen to bring him in.

However, Amoo has decided to continue his development with the Reds and will hope to break into the first team over the coming years.

Rafael Benitez Switch From Liverpool To Inter Is Just Transfer Talk

Rafael Benitez's agent Manuel Garcia Quillon has dismissed reports linking his client with Inter as little more than transfer speculation.

The Liverpool coach has been rumoured to be one of the leading candidates to fill the void left by Real Madrid-bound Jose Mourinho.

Inter and Real are still some way from reaching an accord over the 'Special One' as they continue to negotiate the terms of his exit from San Siro.

But his replacement is unlikely to be Liverpool's Spanish tactician.

"I don't know anything about Inter," the agent told

"No one has contacted me. It is just transfer speculation."

Benitez himself has maintained he wants to continue managing Liverpool whenever the subject has come up in recent weeks.

Simao Sabrosa 'To Join Fernando Torres At Liverpool Next Season'

Winger Simao Sabrosa could be set for a transfer to Liverpool this summer, where he will be paired with fellow former Atletico Madrid star Fernando Torres.

The 30-year-old wide man is being lined-up by Rafael Benitez in a bid to solve the Reds' left-sided problems, with Albert Riera currently out of favour.

Despite having only three years or so left at the top level, Simao could end up costing Liverpool as much as £8million - although cash-strapped Atletico are reportedly keen to sell the player to raise funds.

Simao never actually played alongside Torres, as he arrived in the summer of 2007 at the same time as the Spanish striker left for Anfield.

Benitez believes Simao's pace and crossing threat could reduce the pressure on his star striker by adding a creative element down the left.

But the Portuguese has played down talk of a move.

'Nobody has spoken with me in the last days about this subject,' he said.

'I only say that some people in Madrid have suggested that Atletico are preparing my sale, but I don’t know too much.

’I have always been interested in playing in the Premier League, but my head is in the World Cup and I have a deal with Atletico.'

Simao has one year left on his contract at Atletico, meaning a sale could be pushed through this summer or the Spanish outfit risk losing him for free in 12 months' time.

Liverpool Show Interest In £12m Premier League Centre Back

Rafa Benitez is hoping to lure Bolton Wanderers centre back Gary Cahill to Anfield this summer.

The Liverpool boss is hoping to get significant funding from an prospective new-owners but if he fails to get the cash injection he needs then he is ready to offload some squad players to help bring in new additions and has reportedly placed the England defender on his wishlist.

The 24 year old was on the periphery of Fabio Capello’s international set up before injury set him back in his race for a World Cup place.

The former Aston Villa man has improved immeasurably since his move to the Reebok and has been linked with a move away from the Trotters for some time.

Owen Coyle has tried to distance the player from such speculation but may find it hard to prevent Cahill’s head from being turned by interest shown by the Anfield side who are looking to improve their back four and also looking to add to their ‘homegrown’ quota.

Liverpool Issue Hands Off Warning To Madrid Over Gerrard

Liverpool are determined to fend off a fourth attempt by Jose Mourinho to sign skipper Steven Gerrard.

The Portuguese manager is set to take over at Real Madrid and has once again expressed his admiration for the Reds midfielder.

During his spell in charge at Chelsea, Mourinho made a move for Gerrard in the summer of 2004, 2005 and 2006.

However, despite coming perilously close to leaving after the Champions League triumph five years ago, Gerrard opted to rebuff Mourinho’s advances and stay loyal to his boyhood club.

The Reds captain, who will play for England against Japan on his 30th birthday this Sunday, signed a contract extension last July to keep him at Anfield until 2013.

But after a dismal season at Liverpool and ongoing discontent off the pitch, his future is again the subject of intense speculation.

Manager Rafa Benitez won’t contemplate parting company with the club’s talisman and co-owner Tom Hicks has promised Gerrard will not be sold.

However, that won’t stop Mourinho from testing the player’s resolve as he starts to splash the cash at the Bernabeu following his departure from Champions League winners Inter Milan.

“I like players in the final part of their careers,” Mourinho said.

“They are players that you buy and you won’t recover this money, but if they give you good performances for two or three years you’ve got your money’s worth.

“Both (Gerrard and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard) are great players who always give everything.”

Gerrard said he was putting all contemplation about his club future on hold until after the World Cup finals. He is determined to ensure transfer gossip doesn’t distract win from his mission to help England to glory in South Africa.

But it’s clear the Reds skipper has been deeply hurt by the downturn in the club’s fortunes over the past 12 months.

And he is waiting to see if the club match his own ambition and hunger for silverware by investing heavily in the transfer market this summer.

Steven Gerrard Back In Training After Injury Scare In Austria

The Liverpool midfielder was playing in an 11-a-side practice match in Irdning, Austria, but after less than one minute he pulled up sharply and then required treatment on his right calf, lasting 20 minutes, before informing manager Fabio Capello that he could not continue.

He played no further part in the match but did return to the field to do some stretching exercises.

An England source later said that Gerrard would resume training today.

Liverpool team-mate Glen Johnson missed Thursday's training session as a precaution after picking up a slight groin injury during the 3-1 victory over Mexico on Monday at Wembley.

Meanwhile, Theo Walcott believes the fierce competition for places on the flanks in the England squad is bringing the best out of him in the battle for a World Cup spot.

Walcott feels Capello is facing a selection headache in terms of who to select from himself, Aaron Lennon, Adam Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips for his final 23.

The Arsenal player started Monday's clash against Mexico, with Lennon and Johnson entering the action as second-half substitutes.

And Walcott showed a willingness to track back as well as making some of his trademark runs and crosses.

He said: "The boss wants me to stay out wide, to be an outlet with Stevie G (Gerrard) coming inside.

"But I also did a lot of tracking back. It is not always about getting forward and, when I could, I did (get back).

"People saw a different side of me, going forward and back.

"But it's not just about me. There's Aaron and Adam as well. It is great competition to have.

"It is a great thing having competition, especially in my position, because it gets the best out of you. Aaron, Shaun and Adam are among the best players in England.

"It is a headache for the manager, but a nice headache, because there are fantastic options.

"It was a nice little boost getting the chance to start in the number seven shirt, especially at Wembley with the tremendous support. It shows I had been training quite well."

Liverpool FC's Anfield Executive Boxes Get Major Refurb This Summer

Liverpool have started work on a major refurbishment of the Anfield executive boxes – but club officials insist they still remain firmly committed to moving to a new stadium in Stanley Park.

The six-figure project will create outside seating for the 31 box holders in the Centenary Stand and will be completed in time for the start of next season.

The changes will have no impact on the ground’s overall capacity with supporters in the upper and lower tiers unaffected.

However, the club hopes the upgrade will soften the blow of a £11,000 increase in the season-long hire of a box to £55,000 plus VAT.

“The feedback we got from box holders was that they wanted an outside viewing area for games so they can enjoy the atmosphere as previously they’ve had to watch from behind glass,” a Liverpool spokesman said.

“The interior of each box is being redesigned but the building work won’t increase the external dimensions of the boxes so it will have no impact on other supporters.

“It’s all part of the overall strategy to improve facilities at Anfield until we can move to a new stadium.

“While we’re at Anfield we want to make it the most pleasant experience possible for our supporters.

“But it doesn’t detract from the long term desire and plans to move into a new stadium.”

Liverpool have also defended the hefty price increase in the hire of the boxes.

The spokesman added: “Prices have gone up but it’s still very competitive compared to other football clubs and other entertainment venues.”