Police investigate Benitez banner threat

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June 29, 2021
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    Rafael BenitezRafael Benitez last worked in the Premier League as Newcastle United boss and left Chinese club Dalian Professional in January

    Police are investigating reports that a threatening banner was left near the home of former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, who is set to join Everton.

    Benitez's arrival would be contentious as many Everton fans are opposed to the Spaniard, 61, after he once described them as a "small club" in 2007.

    He would be the first manager to lead the neighbouring clubs since the 1890s.

    A picture of the banner, which was posted online, said: "We know where you live. Don't sign."

    A Merseyside Police statement said: "We can confirm police are investigating reports of a threatening banner at a location in Caldy today, Monday 28 June.

    "At around 7am, it was reported that a banner made from bed sheets had been placed over a wall and bushes on a residential driveway, with wording which is thought to target football manager Rafa Benitez."

    Detective Inspector Darren Taylor added: "This message has understandably caused some distress and worry for residents in the area. Due to the football language used, we suspect that it was aimed at Rafa Benitez – but whoever placed the message left it outside the wrong house.

    "If anyone has information about who produced the banner or helped to put it up, please let us know as soon as possible."

    • Benitez leads the running for Everton manager's job

    CCTV and witness enquiries are being carried out in the area to trace whoever was responsible.

    Benitez had a successful six-year spell with Liverpool where he won the 2005 Champions League and the 2006 FA Cup before reaching the Champions League final for a second time in 2007.

    He later apologised for appearing to criticise Everton's ambition after a Merseyside derby ended goalless in 2007.

    Benitez swapped Liverpool for Inter Milan in 2010 and last coached in the Premier League at Newcastle before joining Chinese side Dalian Professional in 2019, leaving that role in January.

    The Toffees have been also linked with former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo after Carlo Ancelotti unexpectedly left to re-join Real Madrid earlier this month.


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