Liverpool financial problems mean gap with Everton is closing, says David Moyes
With Liverpool's books groaning under the weight of the £237 million debt laden on by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, Rafael Benítez has been condemned to spending only what he raises through player sales for the past two years as he tries to match and surpass the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. It is a problem familiar to Moyes who on Saturday marks his 600th league game as Everton manager after eight years of scrimping and saving to keep the club competitive despite a lack of financial firepower. "They have had a decade of overspending and because of it we have found it difficult to match them," said the Scot. "Now, though, maybe it is changing for them. Maybe they are going to be in a similar situation to Everton. "I do not know what the future holds for them, but for eight or nine years we have had to deal at a different level but then be judged on equal terms on the pitch. But because of things changing [off the pitch], maybe it is closer now." Benítez, though, remains unperturbed by such a bleak vision of Liverpool's future. The Spaniard will have noted with interest the allusion this week from Christian Purslow, the managing director, that without a £100 million cash injection, Hicks and Gillett will continue to offer no pecuniary support in the transfer market. Securing that fresh investment, though, is Purslow's domain. All Benítez can do is help Liverpool avoid the pitfall of the £10 million loss in revenue they would incur through missing out on next season's Champions League. "Hopefully we will not have a lack of money because we will be in the Champions League," he said. "Then we can keep improving in the next few years. But to do that, every game for us is important, Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City. When you are not in a good position, every game is crucial." Louis Saha has signed a two-year contract extension which will keep him at Everton until the summer of 2012. The 31-year-old Frenchman's deal was due to expire this summer and he was attracting interest from a number of clubs. However, he has opted to extend his stay with Everton, whom he joined from Manchester United in 2008.
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