Rafa Benitez with Alex Ferguson 320
RAFAEL BENITEZ has continued his attack on Manchester United by questioning the involvement of David Gill with the Football Association.
United chief executive Gill is a member of the FA’s main board having been voted to join Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside as the Premier League’s club representatives in June 2006.
Ironically, United had long been critical of the inclusion of Gill’s predecessor on the board, former Arsenal chief executive David Dein.
And after seeing Liverpool held to a goalless draw at struggling Stoke City on Saturday, Anfield manager Benitez queried Gill’s prominence in the FA.
“The situation now is because we are at the top of the table and United were saying Liverpool is not a threat,” said Benitez. “Now they know we are a threat, they have started playing mind games.
“I don’t think it’s a “mind game” when you already have control over everything; it’s a mind game when you have the same level as the other people then you can show you are cleverer than the others.
“But when you have control of everything and your chief executive in the FA and things like this, then that is not mind games. I will push, push and sometimes enough is enough.”
Asked if there was a conflict of interests with Gill at the FA, Benitez said: “It’s another fact. It is a fact that one person that has a lot of power and control and is on a lot of committees is in the FA. That is very strange.”
Benitez has claimed to have had plenty of support from other people inside football following Friday’s Press conference during which he began his attack on United and their manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I am really calm,” he said. “I don’t have any problems. I just think it is important to say something when he keeps doing something that you know is not right. A lot of people think the same as me. I need to change my mobile phone because it is blocked with so many messages of support.
“I am not surprised by the amount of support I have received. After 22 years of Mr Ferguson working I understand why.”
But Benitez insists his attack on United was not aimed at unsettling the Old Trafford side.
“No, I didn’t have a plan,” he said. “He (Ferguson) has a plan maybe. I will tell you in three months time if I’ve achieved what I wanted. I wanted to defend my club from someone that was talking all the time and that’s it.
“Maybe he’ll keep talking about Liverpool. We will see what happens.
“f he continues saying things about Liverpool then we will continue to look for more facts and maybe, after 22 years, we have a lot of facts.
“I’m more than happy to defend my club. If he concentrates on football, we will concentrate on football.”