Liverpool football club are looking for a new manager after Kenny Dalglish left the club for the second time. The manager didn’t leave by mutual consent and didn’t resign, he was sacked.
In a statement, current owners FSG said:
Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and Liverpool Football Club announced that Kenny Dalglish is to leave his post today as Manager after having his contract terminated.
After a careful and deliberative review of the season, the Club came to the decision that a change was appropriate. It is not a decision that was reached lightly or hastily.
The search for a new Manager will begin immediately.
The statement continued with some hollow words of a corporate nature, before including some words from Kenny:
Dalglish said he is proud to have served such a great Club.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as Manager. I greatly appreciate the work that Steve, Kevin, the players and all of the staff put in during my time and feel proud that we delivered the Club’s first trophy in six years winning the Carling Cup and came close to a second trophy in the FA Cup Final. Of course I am disappointed with results in the league, but I would not have swapped the Carling Cup win for anything as I know how much it meant to our fans and the Club to be back winning trophies.
“Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving the football club, I can say that the matter has been handled by the owners and all concerned in an honourable, respectful and dignified way and reflects on the quality of the people involved and their continued desire to move the football club forward in the same way as when they arrived here.
“I would like to thank all of the staff at the Club for their effort and loyalty. I said when first approached about coming back as Manager that I would always be of help if I can at any time and that offer remains the same.
“Finally, I want to put on record my heartfelt gratitude to Liverpool’s fans, who have always given me and the Club their unwavering support. Without them neither the Club nor I would have achieved anything.”
Dalglish had been manager for 18 months since coming in to replace Roy Hodgson, whose six months in charge had seen Liverpool looking in serious threat of relegation. Dalglish won the Carling Cup in his first – and only – full season back as well as getting the Reds to Wembley for another final, his side coming runners-up in the FA Cup to Chelsea. Liverpool’s league season seemed to come to a halt soon after that Carling Cup win – with European football assured and Champions League football out of reach Liverpool struggled in the league and eventually finished eighth.
It’s less than two years since Rafael Benitez left the club (officially by ‘mutual consent’), The club, then owned by Tom Hicks and George Gillett but being run, effectively on behalf of the banks by Martin Broughton and Christian Purslow, brought in Roy Hodgson, who lasted six months before the real threat of relegation saw him moved out. Hodgson is now England manager.
Worryingly, although it may only be corporate-speak, FSG’s statement suggests they haven’t even started looking for a new manager.
The Reds are run by owners who rarely visit the UK and the club is now without a Chief Executive, a Director of Football, a Director of Communications, a Manager and the new stadium it has been waiting for since the early years of this millennium.
Sacking the manager does not cure all the ills at Anfield, even if it distracts from them, and FSG have a massive task in front of them now if they are to retain the goodwill of supporters they have benefited from so far.