Benitez: I wish I'd been around to spend John Henry's cash at Liverpool
Published 14:42 03/04/12 By MirrorFootball
Rafa Benitez says he might have finally delivered the title Liverpool craved - had he still been in charge when John Henry and Tom Werner bought the club.
Benitez left the club in 2010, after Liverpool had finished seventh in the Premier League - their worst finish in the Spaniard's six-year rein.
After he left unpopular American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were forced to sell the club, with Henry and Werner's FSG company eventually taking control in October 2010.
Since taking over they have sanctioned spending of more than £100m on new players under Kenny Dalglish.
In an interview with FIFA published today, Benitez reveals his frustration at missing out on that investment, and he says it was impossible for him to stay at Anfield under the previous regime.
He said: "I could see that it was impossible to continue with the people in charge. I could see that they didn’t want to follow my ideas, they were just thinking about business.
"We were there for six years and we were improving the team and the squad and a lot of things, but one bad season and we had a lot of criticism.
"I could see that we would not be progressing, because we didn’t have the support or the money to change things.
"The most difficult thing is the last step. We were improving everything; we were in the Champions League every year, which is where you receive the big money.
"But for the last step, to challenge every year, you have to spend money on the squad and we were not spending the money. If you see the figures, we were spending less money every year."
Despite the spending restrictions, the former Valencia boss says he and his team were getting it right.
"We were trying to adapt our tactics also to the Premier League, to the English style," he said. "People were saying 'He was great in the Champions League but not in the Premier League' – 82 points and 86 points was twice the record in the history of the club. So we were doing well with the resources that we had.
"The problem was that you had to sell some players to buy players if you wanted to progress because we didn’t have a big budget."
Asked if he could have pushed on to more success under the new regime, Benitez said: "Yes, obviously with the money they have spent and the squad that we had, we could have been even better."