Rafa points finger at Purslow
Benitez, who succeeded Jose Mourinho at the San Siro in the summer, responded to Hicks' comments by pointing the finger of blame at the door of managing director Christian Purslow.
Hicks blamed Benitez for squandering Liverpool's millions on a succession of poor signings, but the Inter boss cited the Americans' decision to appoint Purslow as the turning point in the Reds' fortunes.
In an rant that is bound to draw comparisons with Eric Cantona's infamous 'seagulls and trawlers' statement several years ago, Benitez compared his departure to that of a bottle of milk.
"I prefer not to talk too much about Liverpool because I feel sorry for the fans," the Spaniard said ahead of Inter's Champions League game with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
"We have a saying in Spanish, which is 'White liquid in a bottle has to be milk'.
"What does this mean? It means that after 86 points and finishing second in the league, what changed? The Americans, they chose a new managing director [Purslow] and everything changed.
"So what changed? The managing director is involved in all the decisions: new lawyer, new chief of press, new manager, nine players, new medical staff, new fitness coaches. They change everything, so they change managing director then we change everything that we were doing in the past.
"If you ask me what's going on it's simple - they changed some things and by the end they changed everything. White liquid in a bottle - milk. You know who to blame!"
Purslow survived the cull at Anfield last week and still holds his position as Liverpool’s managing director.
By James Martini