Liverpool chief promises transfer war chest

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Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks plans to back manager Rafael Benitez this summer with a "substantial" transfer budget.

Despite the Texan and fellow American George Gillett putting the club up for sale last month Hicks claims they are prepared to give Benitez the funds to put things right after a dismal season. Hicks also stressed that star players like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard would not be sold to generate income.

"We have no intention of selling any of our top players and we have a substantial transfer budget in place," said Hicks.

"There's so much misinformation about transfer spending. It's more than doubled under the ownership of George and myself from the previous three years and we will make a significant investment this summer. It's really about getting the right players."

The Americans have made lofty promises before, most notably when they took over in March 2007 promising to improve the club and build a new stadium in Stanley Park, but failed to deliver.

If Hicks follows through with his offer of transfer riches to Benitez it may make the club a more attractive proposition to outside investors.

But it is unlikely to improve his and Gillett's tarnished reputation among supporters, who have campaigned for a long time for the pair to leave.

"There's been so much misinformation put out by people who have their own agendas and it's unfortunate," said Hicks in response to the sustained criticism he has faced.

"But the truth is the club is much better off than it was three years ago.

"We've done our best. I'm disappointed on a personal level that our efforts have not been received as well as I wish they had been."

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