Benitez demands focus as Parry to leave

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Football News

Rafael Benitez will not let the pending departure of chief executive Rick Parry distract Liverpool from their attempts to win the Champions League and the Barclays Premier League.

The Liverpool manager was responding to the surprise decision of Parry - chief executive for 12 years - and the club's American owners to part company today.

Benitez said: "We have three months now of very, very important games so we must concentrate on that. We must be positive, work together and do what is best for the club."

Parry's departure, it has been claimed, is because his relationship with joint-owner Tom Hicks has become unworkable.

But it has also emerged today that with the owners desperate still to sell the club for the highest price possible, they have received advice that they will get a better price if Benitez stays at the club.

At least two Middle East groups remain interested in buying the club, but co-owner George Gillett has been told that Benitez's continued reign as manager is imperative. Last year Gillett blocked Hicks' demands to axe Parry.

On his own relationship with Parry the Reds boss insisted: "Our relationship has been good, professional.

"In terms of the personal relationship it has been good, because we both want the best for the club.

"I do not see the situation as a power battle. The owners have decided to do this, now we both have to work together. I am sure that Rick, myself and the owners will do this until the end of the season."

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