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American revolution dethrones King Kenny

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Phil McNulty | 18:57 UK time, Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Liverpool owner John W Henry's parting words to the manager he sacked could have been plucked straight from the mouths of the supporters who still refer to Kenny Dalglish as "The King".

The American, who completed the formalities of Dalglish's removal after the Scot returned from a meeting in Boston with an ominous lack of assurances about his future, said in his farewell message: "He is, in many ways, the heart and soul of the club. He personifies everything good about Liverpool Football Club."

It was a statement that reflects the reverence in which Dalglish is, and should be, held when Liverpool's history is examined. His place in it is secure, but his dismissal brings a brutal conclusion to an association with Anfield stretching back to his arrival from Celtic in 1977.

If Henry and his Fenway Sports Group truly regarded the 61-year-old icon as Liverpool's heart and soul, then it has been ruthlessly removed after one full season in permanent charge after his return to replace sacked Roy Hodgson in January 2011.

Kenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish was sacked as Liverpool manager after a meeting with their American owners. Photo: Getty

With the strange symmetry football occasionally throws up, Hodgson - sacked by Henry and spectacularly unloved by Liverpool's fans as they constantly demanded Dalglish's return during his 191-day reign - was basking in the limelight as England manager, selecting his Euro 2012 squad at Wembley at the very moment his successor was being dismissed.

Dalglish returned to a job he had craved since leaving Anfield in 1991, broken by the pressures of life at football's top level and the stresses of leading the club through the trauma of Hillsborough, with what he regarded as unfinished business.

It will be a source of constant regret to Dalglish that he leaves as manager for a second time with that work still incomplete.

Such was his early success in reuniting a club fractured in spirit after Hodgson's departure that he drew FSG away from their own instincts about what they wanted from their manager.

Their template was for a young vibrant coach working alongside a director of football, Damien Comolli. But Dalglish's direct line to the psyche of Liverpool's support and a optimistic end to his temporary period in charge left them with no choice but to hand him a three-year deal.

Dalglish then started an expensive reshaping of Liverpool's squad. He spent lavishly on £20m Stewart Downing, £16m Jordan Henderson and £10m Charlie Adam - none of whom produced a return on the investment. Jose Enrique cost £6m and faded badly while £35m Andy Carroll only showed he was worth anything like that price in the closing weeks of the second Dalglish coming.

This lack of success disturbed the American owners, whose pre-season hope of a place in the top four and a return to the money-spinning Champions League was soon exposed as little more than fantasy.

Dalglish moved Liverpool back towards the old "pass and move" tradition and the air around the club cleared after the inertia of the Hodgson era but home results were wretched, with only six wins this season. It was a record that constant complaints about a lack of good fortune and a regular association with the woodwork throughout the season could not disguise.

Then came the Luis Suarez affair. It scarred the image of Dalglish and the club, was spectacularly mishandled and ended as the sort of public relations wreck that will have appalled Henry and his image-conscious cohorts in Boston.

Dalglish reacted with his default response of defending his player. The club stridently supported Suarez when he was handed an eight-game suspension and fined £40,000 by the Football Association for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in a Premier League game at Anfield in October.

The manager was heavily criticised for joining the team in wearing t-shirts publicly supporting Suarez before a game at Wigan - but the real meltdown came in the return at Manchester United in February when the Uruguayan refused to shake Evra's hand.

Dalglish's loyalty to Suarez was thrown back in his face by this gesture after he assured his manager he would shake hands with Evra, and the Scot's own combative response in a post-match interview led to an unprecedented series of apologies from both player and manager the following day.

In his statement Dalglish said: "I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I'd like to apologise for that." The damage to Liverpool's image, guarded so preciously by the hierarchy, was already done. The "brand" took a heavy hit.

This was a dark day for Dalglish and Liverpool but FSG must not escape blame either. Dalglish's handling of the situation drew criticism, much of it justified, but he appeared to receive no guidance or leadership from Liverpool's owners until it was all too late. In the meantime Suarez gave his manager a dreadful return on the trust he had shown him.
Even this situation that might have been salvaged had the FA Cup been added to the Carling Cup, won on penalties against Cardiff City.

Liverpool beat Manchester United and neighbours Everton in reaching the final, but an abject first hour at Wembley led to a 2-1 defeat and owner Henry's stony face as Dalglish passed him as he went up the Wembley steps sketched a grim outline for his future.

They had finished 37 points behind champions Manchester City, 17 points away from the Champions League places and four points behind neighbours Everton, whose transfer budget would barely register in Liverpool's small change.

There used to be an old saying that Liverpool existed purely to win trophies but on this occasion one was not enough. If Liverpool had won the FA Cup FSG would have had a tough job justifying his sacking. The loss opened the door to a decision that will upset Liverpool's support, whether they approved of Dalglish's management or not.

The club does indeed exist to win trophies but these particular owners would clearly rather it was something more than the Carling Cup.

Now, with Dalglish gone, the focus will shift to Liverpool's American owners. They have made several big decisions recently as they have cut a swathe through various layers of Anfield management, sacking Dalglish, Comolli and popular long-serving director of communications Ian Cotton.

So now they must reveal a long-term vision they have kept well hidden up to now. They must find a manager, a director of football, a chief executive and also finally deliver some hint on how they intend to move forward on the thorny issue of whether to rebuild Anfield or move to a new stadium.

Many will see the dismissal of Dalglish after one full season, and one trophy, as harsh and he will be personally devastated to leave the club he loves.

Now the search begins for his successor, with Wigan's Roberto Martinez, former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas and even former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez touted.

FSG may have removed Liverpool's heart and soul in Dalglish - but questions still remain about whether they have the ability and vision to transplant a new one.


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  • Comment number 1.

    It's not really a surprise.

    It would be interesting to see how Martinez would fare with a bigger budget and massive expectations.

  • Comment number 2.

    Benitez returning is the best option if Liverpool want to get Champions League football. He improved the club every season until the two yanks poor management and debts they piled on the club meant he had to start selling players.
    Martinez was on the verge of taking Wigan down until he had a good run of form at the end of the season, so I don't see how he would be a step forward from Kenny.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 4.

    The press obsession with the 'Suarez affair' says more about the press than it ever does about Dalglish and his handling of it.

    Can't believe you managed to wangle the Suarez thing in to this story. Yeah I can. :-)

  • Comment number 5.

    Steve Nicol.

    Played with Dalglish. Knows Liverpool. Coached the New England team in MLS for a decade. Hasn't lost his accent.

    The problem is that many fans might think him a Yank, because he coached here. So I'd like to know if that's how they really feel.

  • Comment number 6.

    Gotta laugh at Liverpool. SInce they cannot entertain us on the pitch anymore, they keep us entertained with antics off it.

    This job is a poisoned chalice and Martinez should not even go near it. Liverpool fans will not give anybody, who they don't consider one of their own, any time. Feel sorry for Hodgson. Not sure about Kenny. Should he have been given more time, or enough was enough? I think Benetiz is available and the fans will accept him. He only had one bad season in Liverpool.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sad times.

    Two cup finals in one season is not enough any more.

    Regardless, Kenny will always be a legend. YNWA.

    I expect Rafa to be installed shortly.

  • Comment number 8.

    Whats the Daily Politics video about?? King Kenny for PM.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think Liverpool fans need to lessen their expectations. Talk of Benitez going back is dreamland stuff, the guy's only interested in the CL. Maybe someone like Martinez who has had 2 good months at Wigan will be more suited to anfield. Either way I was looking forward to kenny leading liverpool into the bottom half next season, I'll have to console myself with the thought that they will still have stewart downing.

  • Comment number 10.

    i'm not a liverpool fan, but i'd love to see rafa back.

  • Comment number 11.

    Kenny is still a legend, without doubt. However, Rafa should never have been pushed aside. Rafa is the best realistic option at the moment. He loves the club, fans, and city...he knows a lot of the players...and he has the tactical nous to help Liverpool up their perfomances...and crucially he can bring out the best in a striker. Just ask senor Torres. Good times ahead, if Rafa gets the job.

  • Comment number 12.

    It's as simple as this.John Henry stated at the start of the season that the "Minimum requirement was a return to the Champions League".This wasn't fulfilled hence the sacking.Sad but true.

  • Comment number 13.

    Emile Ivanhoe Heskey - a Liverpool legend. 66-1. You heard it here first.

  • Comment number 14.

    When you think That Shankly had no success from 1966 to 1970, and kept his job and built a dynasty that went on for 20 years, you can but weep at this fixation with instant success. Kenny should have been given another year.

    This is Strike one for the owners, appointing someone as inexperienced as Martinez would be strike two, at which point, failure to build a new ground in the next 6 months will bring out the resentment the previous owners and fellow countrymen of Henry and co endured. They talked the talk of "the Liverpool way" this has proven that that was just talk and nothing else. Part of the Liverpool way is never sacking the manager. We are watching Mr. Henry, and very much more closely in future. So far your track record is the same as Hicks & Gillett, you know what happened to them..

  • Comment number 15.

    I would love to see Mourinho or even Guardiola at Anfield.....hopefully that will inspire Messi to step up to another level with the great liver bird rising from the ashes again.

  • Comment number 16.

    Irony of Life! To this club, Kenny was and might even be the best ever striker/finisher in our History.

    However, he assembled a team that could not find the net. How you justfiy paying 35Million quid for Carroll is beyond my comprehension. I would not purshace him for 5 Million.

    I wish you the best in your next gig, sir.

  • Comment number 17.

    Am gutted to see the king depart. He is the most important person to this football club, but as has been well documented his time as manager this time has been very unsuccesful. A carling cup is not neraly good enough, a fa cup final win maybe would have changed things but there just no geting away from 8th poisiton in the league.

    as for the new manager, i think maritnzes would not be a very good apoointment, its just hodgson over again. A few games ago wigan were on the brink and if they had ben relegated, then martinez would be in the same boat as kean of blackburn or coyle of bolton. so no for me.

    Benitez, was the best manage we had over the last decade BUT just like kennys situation proved, u DONT go back.

    AVB, capello, Rijkaard would also be possible good apoointments, but i beleive the job should be given to a good manager who can bring us a new style.


    bring in some good continental talent, get rid of this rubbish british talent (hendo, adam, downing) and bring a new style if we want to stop this rot and rise again.

  • Comment number 18.

    Capello leaves and Terry still 'makes himself available' and gets picked for England; Daglish leaves too and Suarez would go on and keep playing for liverpool. smh

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm unsure as to whether it would be wise to appoint Rafa again. Going back to a club doesn't always work out. Rafa is an awesome manager and he is as astute tactically as anyone out there but going back to a club isn't always the best thing.

    Still, not sure I would want Martinez, unproven at a big club but he would at least try and play football the right way and he seems a genuinely nice bloke. I guess every manager has to be given an opportunity to prove himself at a big club so what would Liverpool really have to lose by employing him? I doubt he would get a lower points total than this season.

  • Comment number 20.

    I remember the day Dalglish signed as a player, I remember the day he resigned as manager and now I have to say, regretfully, I remember the day he was sacked as manager.

    Without being melodramatic, I sincerely hope that FSG have a plan else this could be very bad for the club. No disrespect to the managers that have been mentioned thus far (current EPL lot), but the expectations at Liverpool, whether they be right, is to finish in the top four, pushing for the premiership title and to win trophies. Personally I'm not sure they could handle that pressure.

    The fact that Comolli, Cotton, Bruckner, Dalglish, Clarke have all gone in recent weeks means that we have to replace a significant part of the club infrastructure, try and attract players in the transfer window and get ready for the new season which will kick off sooner rather than later with Europa League qualifying.

    If they have done this on a whim, it is negligence at best, if it has been planned then there is a certain callousness to it. FSG need to deliver in the coming days/weeks else they'll turn into the next Hicks and co.

  • Comment number 21.

    When will football club chairmen ever learn that, if they want a return on their investment, they need to allow time to build success? It doesn't come overnight - the Carling Cup was the first block. Remember Ferguson, Wenger. etc??

  • Comment number 22.

    17pts = 5 wins and 2 draws, is that really that far away from success when you look at the drawn home games and the sides improvement in recent weeks?

  • Comment number 23.

    im my opinion, the reason king kenny got fired was due to the ridiculous amount of money he spent, on players not nearly worth their price tag. FSG are after all buisnessmen first and formost, and to be honest if i was them, it would have been running through my mind. I feel that he did deserve 1 more season as a manager, but to be frank, these men saw the money spent, saw the shifts that these players had been putting on the field, and realised they could simply not afford another transfer season like it.

    Kenny is a legend, and i am proud to have watched him as a manager, but it was not to be, he didnt perform, and these are the strains of football these days. The emergence of teams such as man city and chelsea with their billions means instant success was needed, they simply didnt have time to waste and money to waste, and unfortunately kenny didnt provide that. But YNWA kenny, a legend and a gent.

  • Comment number 24.

    It was meant to happen after the poor season considering their huge investment. Of course naming succesors is part of the show but neither Martinez or Benitez will turn this club around. They need more than a good manager. Someone to control things up and down and i can't see many candidates out there to handle the job. Perhaps, someone like Capello could do a better job than those mentioned.

  • Comment number 25.

    Ah screw this! lets get alan hansen. He could give us some extra passion, desire, determination and commitment.

  • Comment number 26.

    At 21:07 16th May 2012, Noblelox wrote:

    This is Strike one for the owners, appointing someone as inexperienced as Martinez would be strike two, at which point, failure to build a new ground in the next 6 months will bring out the resentment the previous owners and fellow countrymen of Henry and co endured. They talked the talk of "the Liverpool way" this has proven that that was just talk and nothing else. Part of the Liverpool way is never sacking the manager. We are watching Mr. Henry, and very much more closely in future. So far your track record is the same as Hicks & Gillett, you know what happened to them..


    And therein lies the problem. The tail does not, cannot and should not wag the dog.

  • Comment number 27.

    Whoever comes in will struggle. Liverpool just aren't that big a deal anymore and they of course face brutal competition from infinitely richer clubs, and even just clubs on basically the same level.
    It's a shame for Mr Dalglish that he has caused so much harm to the club's image and to their team. They are old news living on long past glories. Been particularly sickened by the glossing over the Suarez business by LFC apologists in the meeja today, but I'm not really surprised. They moan about justice but deny it to others on partisan grounds. Pathetic.

  • Comment number 28.

    Showed far too much loyalty to the players, and bottom line they have failed to live up to their worth and they let him and the club down.
    I also think his style of management does not seem him as a good 21st Century Football Manager.
    FSG have done what Newcastle should have done after a poor season by Dalglish.
    Despite injuries to Alan Shearer and other key players, and despite the lack of funds available, they opted to keep him for the next season, and then parted company just a half dozen games into the season.
    Whilst Liverpool is a totally different kind of Club, I think the management is wary of that.

  • Comment number 29.

    I really enjoyed Mark Lawrenson's piece yesterday about how there was no way they would sack him. Must be fun to be in a professional where you get paid to be wrong constantly.

  • Comment number 30.

    Well Phil,

    I wondered how quickly you would jump on the old whipping boy that is Liverpool.
    The Man City - QPR result must have really wrankled with you and the media boys.

  • Comment number 31.

    It is harsh, but I can't blame them for doing it. There is some good talent in the side and they were competetive until march, but 8th is just not good enough. They have beaten chelsea, city, united and everyon (twice) this season and but for one or two goals in the mid-season I think things could easily have been very different.

    The man has won four league titles. Sacking him will have cost them a lot of compensation. If they're going to do it they'd better have someone very good lined up and be prepared to back them. Dalglish was perfectly capable of mid-table, so a mid table manager would be pointless. Martinez is a nice man, but has no experience at the top level and we know nothing about how he'd spend money. As for Benitez, they already did the nostalgia thing with Kenny. Moyes would be good, but they won't risk fanning the flames. Villas-Boas would be my choice: his style of football would suit liverpool much more than chelsea.

  • Comment number 32.

    Dalglish was sacked far too soon. I was amazed the Americans even thought they could reach the top 4 in their first season, given how badly the LFC squad had been depleted. You can't lose players like Alonso, Mascherano, Torres and not suffer. I've been an LFC fan for 26 years, but seems to me the Americans have as unrealistic an expectation as a large proportion of LFC fans.

    Martinez isn't the man to take LFC forward, and I don't think we'll be attracting any big names either. I just hope Fenway had a plan in place before they pulled the trigger.

    Also still amazed the Suarez affair is being mentioned. Especially in such a one sided way. Johnson gave an interesting interview on his take on that episode; Evra is hardly the victim he makes himself out to be. If this was one of the major reasons for letting Dalglish go, it's a massive injustice.

  • Comment number 33.

    Sick and tired of the Suarez-Evra row being dragged into this.

    Regardless of whether Kenny could've handled that better or not, the fact is he stood by his player. What else was he supposed to do? Ferguson stood by Evra. He was even called as a 'witness' when he wasn't even within earshot! We all know what happened and most of us know what the truth probably is.

    I simply cannot let the players walk away without criticism, though, because overall they've been dire. They let Kenny and the fans down.

    arsenalforlife wants to look at his own club before he laughs at ours. At least we won a trophy this season, unlike some.

    As for Kenny's successor, Martinez, no. I think Rafa has unfinished business with us and should be worth another try.

  • Comment number 34.

    This really isn't a shocking piece of news. Winning the carling cup is a trophy but such a low finish in the league is totally unacceptable for Liverpool football club. Dalglish was heavily backed in the transfer market and those funds were not spent wisely. When you consider that Andy Carroll cost around the same amount as Sergio Aguero, the problems are very clear to see.

    Ultimately football is about players. If you have the best players, you usually attain success. If we look at Alex Ferguson, in general he has had the best group of players in the premier league during his tenure, yet this season he has not had that luxury and United have finished the season without silverware. It is the poor transfer policy that has cost Dalglish his job. If he has signed genuine class, they would have accumulated more points.

    Dalglish was a great player but is not a great manager. True he won trophies with Liverpool, Celtic and Blackburn but the circumstances were vastly different to the current Liverpool position. He hasn't adapted to the modern football world, in particular dealing with the press over the Suarez-Evra race incident. It was handled horribly.

    The question remains, who do Liverpool's American paymasters hire next. There are good young candidates already in jobs like Martinez and Rodgers. Then there are those out of work such as Benitez. Someone like Martin O'Neill could do a good job at Liverpool or dare I say it, even David Moyes! Liverpool need someone who can handle pressure, be tactically imaginative but above all they need to improve the quality of the playing staff. Even Jose Mourinho can't win league titles with sub-standard players....

  • Comment number 35.

    No Surprise Dalglish has gone, Liverpool have had a shocking league campaign, big money signings have failed to make an impact. Dalglish humiliated himself and LFC during the whole Suarez affair.

  • Comment number 36.

    I'm not particularly happy about Dalglish leaving - people seem to forget that until the end of February, we were still in with a very good chance of a top 4 finish - but now that it's happened, I'm looking forward to seeing who we bring in. Personally, I'd go for Villa-Boas, who was unlucky at Chelsea. He had the right idea in trying to rejuvenate their squad, which is something that'll need doing sooner rather than later given how close to retiring a lot of their key players are, and the same approach might be right for us.

    Saying that, I think it'll be Martinez, which I feel would be a step backwards. His side were the worst in the league until the last few games, and it'd be daft to give him the job based on Wigan scraping out of relegation thanks to some fantastic end of season form, considering that's all Wigan seem to do year after year, regardless of who the manager is.

  • Comment number 37.

    Ever since Kenny took over, Liverpool were doomed for failure. He was out of football for so long. He persisted in Jordan Henderson - the most over-rated English talent ever. I was recently in Prague speaking to some footballing experts out there, a strong core of Liverpool fans Theresa, Richard et al, and they all agreed the era of Baros and Smicer with Rafa at the helm is a distant memory. There is a lot of re-building to be done and I hope Chris Hughton or Mick McCarthy are given the throne. Thanks, Jasdeep Raja.

  • Comment number 38.

    For all the people stating that Dalglish didn't get enough time, does that not mean that Hodgson was also not given enough time? Surely you can't have one without the other? If Dalglish deserved more time, then what about Hodgson?

  • Comment number 39.

    Feel sorry for timing of the Kenny sacking, Roy has picked 5 Reds in his Euro team/standby and LFC owner sacked the Manager who made them. Henry and Co. need to appoint someone real big in football as Director and Manager, someone like Roberto Martinez can be just found of expectations just like AVB

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    Surely Graeme Souey Souness has got unfinished business. No doubt Sir Fergie will recommend him for the position.

  • Comment number 42.

    At Celtic and Newcastle he showed he was no longer a top manager, and his handling of Suarez was cringe-worthy - nothing wrong with protecting the player, but all they had to say was something along the lines of "Luis used a word that is perceived as racist, but did not use with that intent and is very sorry for causing offence. We'll take the punishment and he'll learn to moderate his language", the ranting and t-shirts was just pathetic and caused the story to run and run rather than let the EPL simply move on.

    Barely beating Cardiff, for what many LFC fans used to regard as a joke cup, and spending tens of millions for players, many of which are invisible during matches and a number of whom didn't turn up for the first hour of a FA Cup final isn't really a good season for a club that professes to be big.

    FSG, and LFC, also need to accept entry to the CL isn't like it used to be - for a long time it was nailed on they'd be in it because only 4 teams really had the resources, now Man City and Tottenham, maybe Newcastle have joined in.

    Be interesting to see who they get in next, but Dalglish had to go - for his own good if nothing else. The man's got a rich legacy, no need to dilute it.

  • Comment number 43.

    At 21:19 16th May 2012, kbh2005 wrote:
    In English please.

  • Comment number 44.

    Who says it's all about winning trophies eh?

    The CL spot Arsenal claim season after season means more than the two domestic "paper" trophies.

    Dalgish wins the "Mickey Mouse" Cup.....GETS SACKED
    Wenger qualifies for the CL yet again........JOB FOR LIFE

    Any sensible person would take a CL place over the mickey mouse cup anyday.

    If you offered Gerrard the chance to trade the Carling Cup for a CL spot, he'd throw the Carling Cup in the Mersey.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    Henderson on standby for england! Kenny for england! Redknapp for england! Anyone for england!

  • Comment number 47.

    Sort the video out you amateurs.

  • Comment number 48.

    the press including the beeb wanted wenger sacked, it is their darling dalglish who gets the sack in the face of a press campaign to save his job.

    i am happy the americans saw through the facade and rightly dismissed another manager out of his depth. paying an embarrassing 35m quid for a talentless striker because he is english - when will these managers learn not to give in to such nonsense concept like paying a premium for english talent?

    pardew learnt a good lesson from his sack at west ham, look abroad for real talent, pay a fair price for them, show them love, watch them perform, and win manager of the year. hope the next liverpool manager has such good sense.

    boo to all the press who campaigned against wenger...
    goodbye dalglish, you will not be missed.

  • Comment number 49.

    Personally I'm quite surprised. I thought he'd have been given till xmas. 2 cup finals and 1 cup, isn't that bad. tbh all Liverpool lacked was consistency and to undo whatever they had done to anger the goalpost and crossbar Gods. A couple more players and Liverpool are defo a top 4 team. Lets not forget where Liverpool was when Kenny took over. If they (FSG) expected a top 4 finish this season, then I'm afriad they are were trying to run before they could walk. Liverpool are too big a club for a Martinez or Lambert. LFC need to make a big statement now and get a world class, top nothc coach in. I wouldn't be surprised to see Capello throwing his hat in the ring. I'm not saying they should get him, but he is the big name, type of calibre person that LFC need to challenge City

  • Comment number 50.

    Middlesbrough won the carling cup once :) yeh up the boro!

  • Comment number 51.

    Unfortunately this is modern day football, Owners want results, and on the league form Kenny leaving was inevitable, maybe he couldn't convince the owners that he could turn the league form around. It will be interesting to see what route the club takes now. The cup runs were great, but will always been seen as bonus to league performance.

  • Comment number 52.

    I always had a horrible feeling that things would end this way when Kenny was appointed manager. They say you should never go back and in this case it has turned out to be true. Like someone else has said, I really hope FSG has a plan because they have been too quiet for too long, nothing about what their plans are, very quiet on the stadium issue. As to who the new manager should be, that's a difficult one, I can't see a big name wanting this job unless FSG can convince them that they have funds and are in it for the long haul. One thing I do know, if Rafa comes back it will be a disaster. The bottom line for Kenny was the league form and finishing 8th, not good enough I'm afraid. He didn't look like he was enjoying himself the last few months and some of his dealings with the media were painful to say the least.

    To Stuart_MCFC - listen son, jog on. You've won the league, once in the last 44 years don't let it go to your head and turn you into a Man Utd fan! Liverpool as a club will always have more prestige than Man City.

  • Comment number 53.

    2. At 20:57 16th May 2012, ForOne wrote:
    Benitez returning is the best option if Liverpool want to get Champions League football. He improved the club every season
    According to his web, he improved Gerrard too.
    ForOne proves that Benitez is not only into self-deception he's convinced a lot of people that he walks on water.
    The man is a joke. He inherited a winning team and slowly but surely weakened it with his stupid buys and tactics.
    He bought Robbie Keane played him as a left-sided midfielder and then sold him when that didn't work.
    He failed miserably at Liverpool and Inter.
    He spent £229m and signed 76 players at Liverpool.
    I for one hope that Benitez returns to Liverpool, they deserve each other.

  • Comment number 54.

    He won a trophy last won by a relegated team. On pens. To a Championship club.

  • Comment number 55.

    At 21:19 16th May 2012, Dave Manchester wrote:

    Be interesting to see who they get in next, but Dalglish had to go - for his own good if nothing else. The man's got a rich legacy, no need to dilute it.
    Completely agree- he is the best British player I have ever seen along with Giggs comes close. 1988 side were fantastic to watch and he did a very good job to win it with Blackburn with Ferguson breathing down his neck at blanket media backing for United.

    This year you can see he is a million miles off the pace. So he won the League Cup. So did Ale McLeish last year.

  • Comment number 56.

    Champions League football and a push for the title will require time and a massive investment - let's stop harping on about 100million spent when we're talking of a club stripped of Alonso, Torres, Masch and with an ageing Gerrard and Carragher, an out of sorts Reina and some under performing big buys (by the way, all big club manager's make those!). It's obvious we're no longer giving manager's time, and I'd still call our net spend modest. Unlikely we'll see a big investment, no nearer to a new stadium, and with disgruntled fans unlikely to fill the one we have. Under Hodgson we saw lowest Liverpool crowds in years (35000 for one league game.). We're like Chelsea without the money. Martinez, why? Sure there are manager's more suited to the modern game out there, but they wouldn't touch us with our limited budget, medium sized stadium. It was disappointing to finish behind Everton and Newcastle, but we're playing catch up with the other five and have been for several seasons. Sixth in league and two cup finals would have been a very impressive season, we were eighth. In my mind that doesn't justifying such treatment of Kenny. The owners have made the next manager's job even more difficult. I hope they choose well.

  • Comment number 57.

    Wrong decision imo.

    However the proof will be in who they appoint to take his place. A trophy (more than Wenger has achieved in many years) & an FA Cup Final is Dalglish's legacy this time around. Hitting the woodwork 30+ times shows the team unlucky on occasionsas well. Another season with Dalglish, Clarke & Kean should have been the call.

    Benetiz- the man who sold Alonso- no thanks.
    Marinez- Rogers did a better job at Swansea than he did and finished above him this season also. The fact Villa are interested shows you the level he is at.
    Lambert- no thanks. His team leaked too many goals which suggests he's not quite up to scratch- yet!
    Di Matteo- someone is having a laugh.

    If FSG are serious they need to splash the cash and they need a high profile manager to attract better players. Problem is I reckon FSG want to go down the 'buy young, keep/increase value route' and finish in top 4.

    Won't happen guys! This isn't baseball and a year from now they could well be worse off than just now if they go with one of the above.

    Personally I would go down Foreign route and empty chequebook but it won't happen. The Yanks want someone to make a silk purse from a Sow's ear!

  • Comment number 58.

    The usual drivel about the Saurez affair, the press should look at the facts, and stop licking the Ar** of Man U. Pre match its the HOME team who initiate hand shakes not the away team, which would of meant Evra going to saurez, how strange that should all change on that day. Again look at the facts, the past few months have shown what length the PRESS and News organisations will go to for a story. English gutter press that we have.

  • Comment number 59.

    Doesn't matter what the fans want - FSG have their own agenda. How much have they actually put into the club - net after sales? The brand has hardly suffered, as Phil says, with a record sponsorship deal despite a 'poor' few seasons. Most games are a sell out. LFC games are regularly on TV. The fan base is as strong as ever and the media are obsessed with the club.

    All of the fans I know said at the beginning of last season that they would be happy with finishing 6th or 7th, playing well and doing well in the cups. They also said that Kenny needed to be given 2 or 3 seasons to build the team. It's a fallacy, selectively pushed by the media, that 'most' LFC fans EXPECTED a top 4 finish - no they didnt.

    It doesnt seem that approach is acceptable now. The fans would be happy to give any new manager time to bed in - it is the owners he needs to be wary of. Anyone who goes for the job should get Fenway to publicly state what they deem as an 'acceptable' season, right at the start - otherwise they have no chance.

  • Comment number 60.

    I hope Messers Henry and Werner know what they are about. I think it is fair to say that they don't know too much about football so they need to heed to advice . The question is whose advice will they yield to?

  • Comment number 61.

    At 21:20 16th May 2012, M_T_Wallet wrote:

    Basically, Evra and utd looking for a scape goat as they won nothing. Simple enough for you? or shall i get my six year old to spell it out?

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    So a replacemet.

    Martinez? No too inexperienced.
    Pep Guardiola? On a sabbatical. Unlikely
    Jurgen Klinnsman? Comfortable in California.
    David Moyes? Too unpopular a move for both sides of Merseyside.
    Rafa Benitez? Available. But can you ever go back?
    AVB? Excellent CV apart from Chelsea.

    It has to be someone well established as they need to bring in a full support team.
    So ingnoring Paul Ince, Claudi Ranieri, Fabio Cappello Barry Fry, Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger LeBronn James Henry Winkler, Steve Nicholl and Roy Hodgson......

    I'd say Rafa or AVB

  • Comment number 64.

    A very sad day in the history of Liverpool Football Club. Many point to the so called poor purchases but last season those same players were fantastic. Camolli overpaid for them but that is not Dalglish's fault. Apart from one or two games this season we've been pretty good, at least for the first hour but then the confidence evaporated and we lost our way. I would be worried if we weren't creating chances or not hitting the target. Next season would have been better, with the possible signings if Junior Houliet & Wilfred Zaha & the inroduction of some of our young reserves like Sterling, Wisdom, Coady, Suso & Morgan. Now we are in the position that whoever replaces Kenny will have to win the Premier League next season or be deemed a failure. Can't think of any manager who would want to work under those pressures. Also the owners have to realise that major investment in the squad is needed - Chelsea spent £245M & Man City spent £485M to win the Premier League, FSG so far have only spent approx £40M net. If FSG are not prepared to invest then get out and sell us to people who can. It's time for John Henry to put up or shut up

  • Comment number 65.

    I feel the problem with KD was that he was bigger than the actual club, and this is what SAF has done so well over the years, made sure that no one is bigger than the club, i dont think KD thought for one second he was bigger than Liverpool, but the way he was built up by the fans has been well his downfall really.

    the best person for the job i would say would be Capello, but no doubt liverpool's board will pick some young up and coming manager like Rodgers, Martinez, or Lambert, all of who i just dont think will fit the mould.

  • Comment number 66.

    20. At 21:09 16th May 2012, Lundstrom wrote:
    I remember the day Dalglish signed as a player, I remember the day he resigned as manager and now I have to say, regretfully, I remember the day he was sacked as manager.
    With you on all this post - I am not looking forward to LFC without KK but, as I have for over 40 years, I will always support those wearing the red shirt YNWA

  • Comment number 67.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 68.

    Sacking confirms one thing, however great legend you are, its still a damn money minting Football business for americans, who are still learning the game a la soccer way and you will always be scarified if you end up missing the something $ 40 millions Champions league money, a cup and FA cup final holds no importance. Wenger is the biggest example of this school of thought who continues to be at arsenal without winning anything for past 6-7 years and taking team to champions league to get hammered by Barca or Milan

  • Comment number 69.

    another Dinosaur bites the dust.

  • Comment number 70.

    Liverpoolo won more trophies this season than Man U,Spurs ,newcastle and Arsenal put together--European football secured---poor league form but what more can a man do in his first season.

    Yanks have no history before Vietnam so what do they know of tradition and heritage.

    Kenny you have left big shoes to fill. And I for one am truly saddened by your departure.

  • Comment number 71.

    The ship that sank here was "buy young, buy English," which looked to be a terrible idea on its face and proved even worse than expected. Liverpool invested 70 million in football players this year, and might be able to unload them for 20 - 30 million, now. Liverpool paid inflated prices for overrated players who underperformed. Everyone associated with the policy deserved to get the sack, however wonderful they may have been in the past, and however nice human beings they are. People who football has not passed by were busy signing Tiote, Ba and Cisse for a fraction of the cost (to name just one team as an example).

  • Comment number 72.

    As a Utd fan i'm gutted. 'King Kenny' was sucessfully making Liverpool a joke. Heaven forbid they actually put a decent manager in place.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think Kenny will always be legend of LFC!!! I think he was given the tools to get us into the champions league spots and he failed, sad but in business you would get the sack. His signings have been a big let down, we paid over the top for at best average players.

    I think the way Saurez business was handled by Kenny was embarassing for LFC and paid a big part in todays news. I laff at people saying Martinez as he has not achived anything apart from keeping Wigan up, we need a manager with experince of handling the stars and Martinez doesn't have that.

    We only need 2-3 good players for us to move up the league for next year, picking a good proven manager will be essential. Hopefully the new manager will get funds to buy players.

  • Comment number 74.

    At 21:27 16th May 2012, Ramilas1 wrote:

    20. At 21:09 16th May 2012, Lundstrom wrote:
    I remember the day Dalglish signed as a player, I remember the day he resigned as manager and now I have to say, regretfully, I remember the day he was sacked as manager.
    With you on all this post - I am not looking forward to LFC without KK but, as I have for over 40 years, I will always support those wearing the red shirt YNWA


    dito, heres to the next long realm, we're all in it together. YNWA

  • Comment number 75.

    The sacking of Daglish is big shock today. Looks like the Liverpool owners are looking for short term success rather than long-term success. Despite Liverpool winning Carling Cup and getting to the final of the FA Cup, they sack him. Daglish is not the blame for Liverpool's performance in the league this season, it's the players' fault. They are ones to blame for Liverpool's position in the league. Liverpool paid big money to some of those players last summer and they are not performing to the value Liverpool paid them. Will be interesting who will be the next manager. Maybe AVB or Capello?

  • Comment number 76.

    At 21:27 16th May 2012, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:

    english he may be, but he's overrated, over priced and over here and utter chite.


    You two have a lot in common then.

  • Comment number 77.

    If people think that appointing any new manager will instantly turn them in to club challanging for champions league places they are mistaken. Money talks and they've fallen so far behind that it will take investment on a par with citeh's before they catch up. Appointing old and ex managers will just prove that the whole club is living in the past.

  • Comment number 78.

    "Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving, 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."

    So Dalglish does know about 'dignity' and 'respect' then. Could have fooled me.
    Good riddance.

  • Comment number 79.

    72.At 21:31 16th May 2012, YAMS wrote:
    As a Utd fan i'm gutted..... the two late goals vs QPR? :-D

  • Comment number 80.

    Jeanchene. Couldn't have put it better myself. You're absolutely right and I feel the same.

  • Comment number 81.

    Personally I want Rafa back. He would be an excellent choice. He got Gerrard and Torres to play really well together, and although Gerrard is getting on, if a partnership between Gerrard and Suarez was to form it would be deadly, along with the nice partnership that Carroll and Suarez are now forming. I think that going down the Brendon Rogers or Roberto Martniez route would be risky and I don't think that the American owners will take that risk.

  • Comment number 82.


    HAHAH good one!!

    .......KING KENNY OUT..........KING KEEGAN IN!!

    NO, but really. A lot of our fans seem to think guardiola or mourinho or rafa or capello, but these are all champs league managers. They WONT come!
    MARCELO BIELSA, is a great manager with passion and would instill an attacking style of football to his teams (CHILE IN WC 2010 and ATLETICO BILBOA this year). Hes got a bit of a crazy side, but there is method to the madness with him.

    I remember the days when our team was a bit exotic maybe, with torres and alonso, mascheranos benitezs!! Its time we get rid of these boring, lumbering overrarted british flops. Kennys gone, get rid of the rest, bring in bielsa and some godd continental talent from spain italy germany and restore this club!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    How anyone can say Martinez isn't good enough or experienced is beyond me. Here is a man who has got the best out of his players by playing good attractive football, and he has done it consistently with raw talent that eventually gets plucked from his grasp by a 'bigger' club. It should not matter that he has led Wigan close to relegation multiple times as he pulled them through on every occasion! Wigan would have been relegated long ago with a lesser manager.

  • Comment number 84.

    A turn of Tide also awaits Manchester united, one more season lost will make Fergie leave and that will end the legacy of another Football club; I doubt Manchester will ever be able to replace Fergie or busby and same hold for Dalglish , still a king we salute

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    At 21:34 16th May 2012, Stuart_MCFC wrote:


    Hmmm - I get the feeling you would really rather be a Man Utd fan. Isn't it past your bedtime?

  • Comment number 87.

    Football isn't what it used to be. it's all about entertainment now and less about sport and athleticism. It's more about oligarchs buying clubs and players and turning them into wealthy neo-slaves and using fans like serfs and less about homegrown boys playing the game for the love of it. Sacking King Kenny is a symptom of that new order. No more football for me. I'm going to take up fencing.

  • Comment number 88.

    As much as I admire the great Dalglish and let's face it who doesn't. However, it was a case of Liverpool wanting a feel good factor...... from the past. In simple terms the game had moved and sadly Kenny was just not at the races. I watched so many games where there just wasn't any real team ethic, passion and desire in the Liverpool way of old. Its ok to say that the players let him down, however, it's a managers job to get the players to play at there maximum.... Kenny sadly did not have that ability this time around. Kenny all be it did well at Blackburn but his outings as manager were failings. Even when he became manager of Liverpool the first time around, he inherited a great team and so it was easy to succeed. He never got it right at Newcastle where he had money and a talented team... Look at how well Pardew is doing. The club are also paying for the lack of infrastructure investment all those glory days warranted. They should be as big as united off the field due to all the successes from the past. Whom would be a good manager ? Two names I would seriously consider, however, neither are available for a number of reasons. On talent alone the far best candidate is David Moyes, superb tactician under budget and a very experienced manager. However, the idea of the Everton man moving to the neighbours is unthinkable on merseyside. The other is Pardew....... Proven guy this season but again I can't see him leaving a very good Newcastle side. Liverpool are in a very difficult situation and if they don't get it right this time around they could end up like Villa. I couldnt believe the club had another set of American business men in again. Sadly for Liverpool fans who are some of the best in world sport it's the end of cavaliers at Anfield ....... the Roundheads are playing.

  • Comment number 89.

    Lundstrom (#20)

    You talk of expectations being of top 4 for liverpool. A question for you then based on that - do you think they we're correct to sack Kenny based on the fact he didn't achieve that.

    My position on Kenny/Liverpool is as follows
    (i) Since January 2011 they have spent around £110-120M to improve the squad (although they did recover around £70M in transfer fees). They have also increased numbers in the 1st team squad (7 brought in 3/4 left). Based on this they should have improved league position wise compared to last season but they didn't
    (ii) The net spend is £40-50M which is significant especially when compared to teams like Newcastle and Everton who overtook them in the league this year despite much lower net spends. To me this is an indication that the money was not spent wisely.
    (iii) Suarez (and possibly Enrique until recently) seems to be the only player (who on pitch performance) seems to be justifying his fee so far from a lot of the reports and also Liverpool fan comments I see on here. Another indication of
    (iv) While Comolli appeared to pay the price for the poor transfer performance I assume Kenny had to approve the targets Comolli had identified which then calls Kenny's judgement into question as well.
    (v) While points have not been achieved a lot of reports and comments seem to indicate that the performances were good and that it was the finishing that was poor. This may mean that with the purchase of a new striker. Liverpool have always seemed to have a striker that would get them 20+ goals a season (Torres, Owen, Fowler, Rush, Dalglish etc). I don't see either Suarez or Carroll filling that role at Liverpool.
    (vi) Kenny is still extremely popular with the Liverpool fans therefore poor results will be forgiven far more easily than anyone new brought in from the outside. This takes some of the pressure off during the rebuilding process
    (vii) A change of manager quite often means change of approach which means he may need to sign more players than the incumbant to be able to play in the style the new manager wants too

    I think (as an outsider) I would have given Kenny another 12 months (to Christmas at least) to see if he could turn performances into points and to correct any errors in the transfer market
    However it appears that the owners have lost confidence that Kenny can do one or both of those and if that is the case then they had to make the change. The big question is who can they attract to the club to replace Kenny.
    I agree with those saying that Martinez should not be%

  • Comment number 90.

    Can't say I'm too surprised

    So much money wasted on so much mediocrity. Suarez, Enrique and BEllamy are the only signings worth mentioning. Charlie Adam looked good as the big fish in a small pond at relegated Blackpool. Look how good Sidwell was at Reading and how he fared when he moevd to a big club. Downing-0 goals, 0 assists says ut all.Henderson is ridiculously average, for my money Sebastian LArsson is the better player by far

    Where now for Liverpool? MArtinez would be a very good appointment imo, has worked wonders on a Wigan side that looked set for relegation ever since he arrived. Clearly I'm biased but I'm not a fan of Villas-Boas, putting his Chelsea failure down to his falling out with big egos seems to forget his suicidal tactics and dismal man management. That night in Naples showed up everything wrong with his management style

  • Comment number 91.


    "history of Liverpool Football Club "

    you still don't get it do you

    no one is interested in your history anymore.


  • Comment number 92.

    He gets to keep the coat though?

  • Comment number 93.

    We wouldn't qualify for the Champions League.....they said.
    We'd finish below Spurs.....they said.
    We'd be overtaken in the table by a resurgent Liverpool......they said.
    Wouldn't be able to cope without Fabregas & Nasri.....they said.
    Couldn't compete with Liverpool's "super-signings" of Downing, Adam & Henderson.....they said.
    For the first time in decades we had an inferior squad to Spurs.....they said.
    We were in crisis......they said.
    Wenger no longer knows what's best for the club......they said.
    We were guaranteed to go backwards unless we spent BIG MONEY & signed a BIG NAME......THEY SAID.

    Last season we got 68 points and came 4th.
    This season, with an "inferior squad" & without the "irreplaceable" powers of Fabregas & Nasri, we got 70 points and finished higher up the table.

    As has already pointed out:
    Power shift in Manchester
    Power shift in Liverpool
    Arsenal STILL Kings Of London

    STILL the BIGGEST club in the BIGGEST city in the BIGGEST football nation on earth.

    Not bad for a club who are "going backwards" it Mr McNulty?

  • Comment number 94.

    His place in it is secure, but his dismissal brings a brutal conclusion to an association with Anfield stretching back to his arrival from Celtic in 1977.

    What a stupid comment. Kenny will always have an association with Anfield.

  • Comment number 95.

    The Suarez racism row was badly managed and this globally damaged the Liverpool brand. This as much as the poor league form sealed King Kenny's fate.
    Martinez will not manage Liverpool as he and Gerrard fell out this season when Gerrard accused him of double standards. I think Gus Poyet is in the frame, not just because of his outstanding work at Brighton but being from Uruguay he may well be able to persuade Suarez to stay.

  • Comment number 96.

    At 21:37 16th May 2012, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:


    Ah, 'Patches' illegitimate child spouts his usual sour bile, the supporter of a club that has not won nothing for such a long, long, long time and has absolutely no chance of ever winning the CL. Saddo.

  • Comment number 97.

    KD is a legend and I think it was time to go.I do not think any other manager would have lasted with these results and obviously the fans were very patient.What if he should have stayed for next season and results were not good?Then he could be dismissed any time.
    The question of course is ,do the owners have something lined up in terms of management as a whole?

  • Comment number 98.

    Hitting woodwork 30+ times is not unlucky, it is inaccurate shooting.

    It has been proven that the Carling Cup is not made of silver = not silverware.

    Saying if they wont spend the money, we'll get rid of them. Hardly beating down the door to bankroll the club are they?

    Success in the modern game is worth more than history and prestige, whatya got now?



  • Comment number 99.

    And to think that back in August/September/October it was Wenger who the press seemed to think didn't have a clue.


  • Comment number 100.

    Roy Hodgson will be looking for a job pretty soon .

    keep the faith



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