Former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano claims that he quit the club because of a lack of investment in players by then-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
Mascherano moved to Barcelona in an £18 million transfer this summer, having forced through his transfer by refusing to play for Liverpool anymore. His relationship with then-boss Rafa Benitez, the Anfield fans and the co-owners was called into question, but the Argentine has now revealed that it was a lack of money that eventually persuaded him to leave the club.
''While Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United were spending big money, Liverpool couldn't because they had no money,'' he told the Sun. ''The situation is clear to me. When you want to fight for big things, titles, you must have a big team to win. "But, at Liverpool, that wasn't the case. That was the main reason we didn't qualify for the Champions League and all players want to test themselves at that level."
Mascherano admitted that it was not an easy decision to make, but thinks that now the ownership situation has been sorted out, the club are in a much better position.
"It is not easy to leave a team when you have been there almost four years,'' he added. "The Liverpool people and fans treated me very well. I cannot say anything against them and they will always be in my heart. But, though it was difficult, I knew my time there was over. Finished. I needed to go.
"I try to watch all of Liverpool's games on TV. They have had a tough start but I'm sure they'll get much better. There have been a lot of problems with the owners and this has affected things on the pitch. Now this has been sorted out, I think things will get better for the team."