(image taken from The Red Half)

Rafa Benitez has miraculously survived Tom Hicks’ reign of error at Anfield for much longer than anyone could’ve predicted but said run appears to be just about over, with The Times’ Tony Barrett reporting the Liverpool manager is about to be bought out of the remaining 4 years on his deal for less than a quarter of what he’s owed.  The alternate?  Lead The Reds into a a new decade at a severe competitive disadvantage.

According to the terms of the five-year contract he signed in March 2009, Benitez is entitled to a £16 million severance package but given their current financial predicament there is no possibility of Liverpool being able to come up with that kind of money, regardless of their desire to bring about a change of manager.

Though Benitez is yet to accept the offer, the chances of a compromise being reached were raised by indications from the 50-year-old that he would not be able to take the club any further if, as expected, the current restrictions on transfer spending are extended into another summer. Despite claims by co-owner Tom Hicks last week that Liverpool are set to spend big in the coming months, the reality is that their transfer budget is currently limited to £15 million at most and there are yet to be any assurances that they will be able to re-invest the proceeds from player sales to any great extent.

Such is Liverpool™s palsied fiscal state, they recently posted record annual losses of £55 million and are saddled with debts totalling £351 million, Chairman Martin Broughton was simply unable to offer Benitez the guarantees he was looking for and after a desperately disappointing campaign in which they finished seventh in the Barclays Premier League and failed to qualify for next season™s Champions League the club™s hierarchy would not have been keen to extend Benitez™s tenure anyway.