Champions League exit will not dent Liverpool's resources

LIVERPOOL, England, Nov 5 (Reuters) An early exit from the Champions League for Liverpool will not hurt the club's financial resources, according to manager Rafael Benitez.

Last year's finalists are bottom of their group and need to beat Besiktas tomorrow to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the next stage of the competition, having lost two of their opening three games.

The cost of missing out on reaching the final has been estimated by media at 10 million pounds 20.82 million dollars but Benitez believes that is a drop in the ocean for a club preparing to spend close to 400 million on a new stadium.

''I was surprised because people were talking about figures if we don't reach the final, but to reach a final it is very difficult,'' Benitez told reporters today.

''When you are talking about a stadium that costs over 400 million pounds, the difference that 10 more million or 10 less million makes is not massive.

''We must just think about football and after you can think about figures,'' he added.

Benitez said he had been told by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett that his job was not under threat despite Liverpool's recent indifferent results.

''They must be pleased with the way the team and club is going. We have changed a lot of things and we are progressing,'' he added.

''They arrived as we were winning against Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea, maybe they think it is easy to be in a final.

''But tell me how many teams have been in two finals in three years? ''We had a meeting the other day and we were talking about situation and it was very positive. The future is good and it could be brilliant.'' Liverpool forward Fernando Torres could make a quick return from an abductor muscle injury against Besiktas.

His goals will be important for a side which has scored only two in the Champions League this season and could miss out on a last 16 placing for the first time in four years.

''It is not a disaster if we don't go through. We can't win all the time,'' defender Jamie Carragher told reporters.

''We have a good record in the Champions League and will look to keep that going.

''If not, we will look to go into the UEFA Cup and do well.

But we do still want to be in the Champions League. If it doesn't happen we just have to get on with it,'' he said.


Story first published: Tuesday, November 6, 2007, 15:20 [IST]
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