Kenny Dalglish sacked as Liverpool manager
SCOTLAND legend Kenny Dalglish’s second stint in charge of Liverpool was ended by the club’s American owners yesterday just 15 months after he took the job.
The Anfield great paid the price for his side’s worst Premier League finish for almost 20 years, although Dalglish did guide Liverpool to a Carling Cup triumph and the FA Cup final.
But he could only manage an unimpressive eighth place in the league, prompting owners the Fenway Sports Group to wield the axe, with assistant Steve Clarke also leaving Anfield. On departing the club which has been a huge part of his life over the past four decades, the 61-year-old said: “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 [Clarke], Kevin [Keen], 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.
“While I am obviously disappointed to be leaving, 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.
“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.”
The announcement came just 24 hours after the Scot returned from a meeting with principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner in the United States.
“Fenway Sports Group and Liverpool Football Club announce that Kenny Dalglish is to leave his post today as manager after having his contract terminated,” said a joint statement. “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.”
Werner said they had made a tough decision to remove a man who is held in such high esteem at Anfield following his exploits as a player and manager in his previous spell in charge.
He acknowledged the effect the 61-year-old had had in putting things on a more even keel after a disastrous six months under Roy Hodgson but felt a change was required.
“Kenny came into the club as manager at our request at a time when Liverpool Football Club really needed him,” he said. “He didn’t ask to be manager; he was asked to assume the role. He did so because he knew the club needed him. He did more than anyone else to stabilise Liverpool over the past year and a half and to get us once again looking forward. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.
“However, results in the Premier League have been disappointing and we believe to build on the progress that has already been made, we need to make a change. We are committed to delivering success for our supporters and our ambition remains resolute to return this great club to the elite of England and Europe, where it belongs.”
Henry offered further praise for the Scot. “Kenny will always be more than a championship-winning manager, more than a championship-winning star player,” he said.
“He is in many ways the heart and soul of the club. He personifies everything that is good about Liverpool Football Club. He has always put the club and its supporters first.”
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