Liverpool set to get belated honours from Queen
Liverpool are set to receive belated recognition for their Champions League victory in the Queen's Birthday Honous after missing out in the New Year's list.
Among the players, skipper Steven Gerrard should receive at least an MBE in June while manager Rafael Benitez can expect an honorary OBE - the same award his predecessor Gerard Houllier and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger have received in the past.
It is also possible Jamie Carragher, the other Englishman in the team that beat AC Milan last May, may also be honoured.
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry said this week he was 'staggered' the Reds had been ignored.
However, a source close to the honours process said Liverpool's omission in the New Year's list was more a mistake rather than a deliberate decision.
He said: 'It was more of a cock-up than a conspiracy but there are two honours lists a year and it is expected that Liverpool will receive due recognition in the next one.'
Parry, writing in Liverpool's official magazine, said: 'The decision to overlook key Liverpool players from the New Year's Honours list, despite our magnificent achievement in winning the world's most prestigious club tournament, was frustrating to say the least.
'It raises a simple question: just what do you have to do in a football sense to be recognised by the powers that be?'
There is a limit on the number of honours awarded for services to sport and Liverpool may have suffered from the fact that every member of the victorious England cricket Ashes squad were given OBEs or MBEs at New Year.
Parry added: 'I don't want to take anything away from the England cricketers and their wonderful Ashes success against Australia, but the fact that the inspirational efforts of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in helping us win the Champions League were effectively dismissed is little short of staggering.'
The sporting honours come from recommendations from governing bodies, invididual nominations and a list drawn up by the Government.
A shortlist is presented to the sports honours committee, headed by Lord MacLaurin, Vodafone and former ECB chairman, who make the final choice to be presented to the Queen.
Committee members are banned from commenting on individual cases but one member, the former Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey Thompson DBE, said the process of choosing recipients was a difficult one.
She said: 'There's not a right or a wrong answer. People on the panel weigh up club versus country, individual against team or simply whether someone who was worked as a volunteer in a swimming pool for the last 60 years in more deserving.
'It's all about opinions too. Anyone who supports Manchester United might agree with it, anyone who is a Liverpool fan won't agree.
'It's a really tough decision, and it is very much a panel decision.
'Anyone can nominate someone for an honour and I would urge anyone who feels a person has missed out to make use of those nomination forms.'