Editorial: Fenway wrong to sack Kenny Dalglish

There were press leaks in America on Tuesday about Dalglish being sacked, before yesterday the club made the announcement.  An announcement that in my opinion was far too hasty and plunges Liverpool into unnecessary chaos.

LFC win the League Cup at Wembley

After 16 months in the job, Kenny Dalglish's sacking was announced by the club as the owners John Henry and Tom Werner, sat in the comfort of their offices 3000 miles away from Anfield.

Modern technology renders such distances relatively meaningless, but for many supporters this distance is symbolic of the owners lack of a grip on Anfield goings-on.

Previous club chairmen used to issue a motto on the rare occassions the manager was changed at the club.

Liverpool Football Club exists to win trophies and to be a source of pride to its supporters.

It seems that trophies are no longer of interest in the pursuit of cold hard cash - and Liverpool now look set to operate a revolving door policy of managers.

If fans, and worse still the owners, are not going to give managers the support and time needed then ultimately Liverpool will suffer.

There is no doubt about it that Liverpool had a disappointing league season.  As they have for the previous two but lets look more analytically at the situation.  The reds do not have the squad at present to mount a title challenge.  The reds do not have a squad big enough to compete in three competitions, never mind the four we will be in next season (thanks to Kenny returning European football to Anfield).

Despite the figures of transfer spend noted by some sections of the media, Fenway have invested an average of just under £10M per transfer window net in bringing in new players.  This is amazingly the kind of figure that David Moores was investing 5 years ago, before Tom Hicks and George Gillett rode in to town.

Many Anfield attenders this season will have seen a huge improvement in the football played, our results at home have not reflected our dominance for the large part and one striker in a rich vein of form would have had a field day this season.

But the owners, who appear to read newspaper opinion rather than watch games of football, have been swayed in to a decision that will not help themselves in the opinion of many of those who pay their money week in week out.  And their apparent short-termism will now affect the kind of manager, and the approach the next manager will take.

Whoever arrives at Anfield will know he has no time to build a succesful club for the future, but must bring in players for the season or two, and Liverpool simply can't afford financially to be that kind of club.

The owners will not find another manager with as much success as Kenny, and without having the experience of managing a club to league titles, and even the Premier League title.

Names such as Roberto Martinez, and Brendan Rodgers - whilst thoroughly nice man - are an insult to one of the toughest jobs in World Football.

That job has only been made tougher by Fenway Sports Group reckless, and ill-thought out decision.

But what are we promised now - another 'long term plan'.  The same 'long-term plan' they had set in place when they appointed Damien Comolli (a position now also vacant) - the 'long term plan' when they gave Dalglish and Steve Clarke 3 year contracts (vacant).

The vacuum at the top of the club was never more evident than over the Luis Suarez case - the failure of both the Managing Director Ian Ayre and the Communications Chief (a position now vacant) to get involved - meant that the football manager was placed in a ridiculous position dealing with FA legal cases and the club's response - when his priority was clearly the football on the pitch.

But now the decision has been taken.

So thankyou to Kenny Dalglish from saving us from the danger of relegation last January.  Thank you for winning our first trophy for 6 years, taking us back to Wembley (thrice) for the first time in 16 years.  Thank you for bringing European football back to Liverpool Football Club, and thank you for re-installing the ethos of dignity and professionalism to the club so lacking during the previous 5 years.

As for Fenway and the club's Managing Director - shame on you.

The decision to sack Rafa Benitez was a poor one.  This stinks even more.

35 comments on
Editorial: Fenway wrong to sack Kenny Dalglish

  1. That right,be like Man City owner give the manager time to build his team and bring in the star player witch LFC owner will not Spend his €£€£€£ to buy player with quality to build a stronger team.LFC getting more problems from the 2 American owner.they wanted the club to success with with out coming out their €£€£€£€£.come on be like Man City owner spend and bring star players and after 44 yrs they now a champion .if your team have a players like what Man City have you can bring even the lowest manager you will be a champion.

  2. i ‘ve already suffer when they sack rafa.. then a ‘very’ heart breaking when they sold torres.. so.. i dont care who gonna leave this club anyway…

  3. I couldnt give a toss about attractive football as long as we win and we couldnt buy a win in the league at times. Kenny is and always will be a legend but lets just get on with it now. FSG want Liverpool FC to be successful i have no doubt. 

  4. It’s time to accept that we’ve become a mediocre club and we’ve been in the process of becoming one since we bombed Rafa. Man City have shown us, as did Chelsea that the way to win a title in the modern era (the post Abramovich era) is to be backed by a supremely wealthy owner. FSG don’t have the financial means to compete with the richest clubs, nowhere near it. I’ve got pretty tired of hearing about how much Kenny spent. Truth is the net spend was ~£35 m, not a great deal by today’s standards. Did we really expect to become title challengers overnight with such a paltry outlay? Perhaps we could have if we already had a squad brimming with talent, however, since the heady days of 08 – 09 we’ve lost Hyypia, Masch, Alonso, Arbeloa, Torres, Babel, Benayoun to name a few and haven’t replaced them with equal quality. Were we ever likely to considering each was moved on for much larger sums than what we paid? The answers as to why we’ve become mediocre are there for all to see. Kenny’s signings were leargely about bolstering the squad. Kenny’s signings are an improvement on what we were left with after the asset stripping of Gillet and Hicks and the awful purchases of Roy Hodgson. It wasn’t Kenny’s fault we became mediocre. That accolade must go to Gillet and Hicks for asset stripping us of top players and partly down to Hodgson for not stopping the rot. We must accept that we’re in that bracket of clubs with an outside chance of gaining CL qualification. We’re no longer guaranteed a top 4 spot. We must build our way back to attaining top 4 status. Was it realistic to expect that to happen in one season with a net spend of ~£35 m consdering the club was one day from administration and 5 pts off relegation roughly 18 months ago? The team curently has a lot of young players in it and can only get better. Kenny should have been given the duration of his contract to take his team as far as possible. Progress in football can sometimes be difficult to gauge. Despite mammoth spending (far more than the ~35 m net spend Kenny made) between 1986 and 1989, Fergie could only manage league finsihes of 11th, 2nd, 11th and 13th in his first 3.5 seasons in charge at Utd. 4 years of marquee purchasing only culminated in 1 top half of the table finish and 1 FA Cup. We all know how the Utd story in the early 90’s ended – glorious for them, painful for us. League tables can lie. Much has been made of the 30 odd points we’ve finished behind city this year, but Utd were a similar margin behind us back in 1990 – our last title – their first trophy under Fergie. Which team were going forward and which backward though?

    With no DoF, and no manager I feel we’re now back to square one. Progress has been made under Kenny, but the wrong appointment can undo that. We’re already behind in terms of negotiations for new players and we’re not an attractive proposition for a top manager.

  5. So Guardiola came to barca with loads of success from previous seasons?

    We need a manager who can put things the right way with what we have, good tactician with excellent man management.


  6. some ov the best football i,ve seen for years just not the goals shame kennys to old or he would have put them in himself thats how great he is.

  7. Thanks god he is gone!! else we wud had finished 18th insted of 8th next season!! He did not show any glimpse of tactics, he did not show he had the courage to make the right subs at the right time, he did not show he had the courage to say that he made mistakes buy buying scrap players for enormous sum of money, he did not show that he can keep our best players by letting meireles, aquilani and torres go, he did not show he still has the same passion for the club by letting everton finish above us, he did not show that he will be able to attract best foreign players by insisting his british buy policy is best for the club and that they should play each and every match even if the team is losing, he cud not admit that he did not win us carling cup, BUT it was cardiff who lost it by losing at penalty shootout, he had the gut to say that its the carling cup that fans wanted above a good premiership finish!! Common Dalgish is the past, he is outdated, he was fingers away of letting ManUre had their 20th title!! And to blame the woodwork?? He was the idiot who said in january transfer window that the strikers we had were enough for us to finish in top 3!! He was the one who refused Arda turan when we played galatasaray in preseason friendly, instead he paid big sums for useless downing.. Whose faults is that?? The FANS!!! NO.. its Queen Kenny’s Fault!! If he had show a bit of glimpse that he can improve the club, he can take it forward and admit that mickey mouse cup is not enough may be the american wud had give him few more time. ~They have shown us by buying the club, looking for best deals of equipments, investing 100 millions in first year, appointing good staff and sacking worst one that they want the future of the club, Lets trust them and see.

    • we need to move away from this insular attitude that only rafa, carra or john bishop will do for us. we need to open up and seek a new direction. i agree rafa is a great manager but now’s the time to embrace FSG’s vision. What have we to lose? We haven’t won the league for over 20 years doing it the Liverpool way. 

  8. this article is spot on if we had some striker banging all those chances in kenny would have not been sacked to quick to judge. look at what this man has achived.

  9. I hear what you’re saying – the road ahead looks a lot harder, darker and more arduous to travel than it did just a week ago. Kenny rightly had his critics, but my instincts tell me this is a case of frying pan to fire. LFC’s problems – 20 years in the making – are arguably more acute than at any time in our recent history.  But there is something the entire Liverpool family should draw comfort from in the face of the gleeful schadenfreude exhibited by the footballing fraternity at large this season, and that is this: it is the supporters who define our great club, not the owners, players, sponsors, telly companies, race-lawyers or corporate-box holders. It is our collective personality, bonhomie and resilience that has inspired generations to footballing greatness. The plans of any ‘franchisee” can – and often will -unravel. But our DNA will not. And for this reason, the light of hope will always burn. Neither we, nor LFC, shall ever, ever walk alone…

      • It’s definitely tough out there right now; not just the footie – life in general. People look to the club to provide the relief they need from a week at the grindstone, or worse, a week scouring the situations vacant columns. And on those levels we’ve have fallen short this year. Yes, Anfield’s stands have seen far more lively seasons. But we’ve been beleaguered and beset by rubbish going on off the pitch as much as on it. It has also never been clearer to me that every other club deep down wants to see us fail, even if for purely business reasons (when a vibrant market develops a void, something’s got to fill it).
        But this kinda goes to the heart of my point; none of them matter and we put too much importance on listening to the cobblers espoused by naysayers with their own agendas. When a family member is going through a hard time, it’s up to the collective to help pull them through. Few families are as tight as LFC’s. We will pull through, irrespective of other forces at work. As a city, as a group of people, we’re too bloody minded to allow anything else…

        • Yeah, we’ll always have that. I just feel the club and fans are at a crosswords now. Although we’ll never forget the past, I feel we have the perfect opportunity now to embrace the future with new values. A complete overhaul as FSG seem to be attempting. Deep down, i don’t like it but realistically i think it’s overdue. 

  10. I agree with so many of the points made in this article.

    Whilst things weren’t great prior to FSG’s takeover, they themselves have made a lot of mistakes. But being the owners, they don’t have to admit liability:
    1. Appointing Damien Comolli, with his hit-and-miss track record in the transfer market
    2. Giving Dalglish a 3-year contract, despite apparently not wanting him as manager (thus, making a rod for their own backs should he not succeed  which is the case now)
    3. The buy-British transfer policy
    4. Sanctioning massive transfer fees on said British players
    5. Team not being strengthened in JanuaryYou guy’s on this site may know better, because FSG’s culpability may be just rumour and some of the above may not be accurate. Whilst I accept it was a poor season in the league by anyone’s standard, I just wonder if we might at some point in the future add:6. Removing Dalglish, despite positive signs – higher quality football, first trophy for 6 years, and assembling a side with a young, British core

    • Simeon…

      your point 6 is FANTASTIC, however, (and I hate saying this) because of the achievements of UTD, EVERYONE is being compared to them…but only on the surface, nobody seems to take into account how long it took their manager to built a title challenging team…

      It’s like he just rocked up and they won everything….BOLLOCKS!!

  11. Arsenal fan in peace.
    The only real reason to keep Kenny would have been sentimental. Any other manager would have been sacked before now.
    I know he is a legend at Anfield, but his performance as manager was dire. He was awful with the media. He was inept in terms of modern PR. His tactics seemed out of touch with the modern game. Worst of all, he wasted a huge amount of money. Enough money to challenge, if spent wisely.
    Your owners invested money buying and stabilising the club. They also invested a huge amount of money in the squad. They got a terrible return on their money and had to act.
    Its time for LFC to take the plunge and sign a promising young manager. You need stability now, not a merry go round a la Chelsea. I saw names like Mourinho, Guardiola, Hiddink etc. on wishlists, but be realistic! As for bringing back Rafa, that would be a disaster. Do you not remember the negative football? The waste of funds?
    A young manager with an attractive playing style is needed to build LFC back up again.
    Best of luck to your club on its journey, I honestly hope you appoint the right man.

    • Some of the points you make are correct, but extremely harsh. As an Arsenal fan, would you have been happy if Arsene was removed part way during the season after the bad start you had? Without van Persie, I feel that Arsenal would have struggled to make a Champion’s league spot. 

      Kenny, has achieved many good things in his brief 2nd tenure. He brought in the young British players that FSG wanted, at great expense, yes, but were FSG not aware that this was always going to be the likely scenario?  Did they not know that acquiring British players is not synonymous with success? Kenny had Liverpool playing attractive, dominant football which led them to 2 cup finals and one trophy. What we lacked was a van Persie type who was scoring goals for fun – it may not be completely Kenny’s fault as to why such a purchase did not transpire in January. I believe a poor chance conversion rate as opposed to poor tactics was more instrumental in our poor league showing.      

      FSG are not football fans, they are business men in the purest sense who won’t appreciate that a few smart buys plus continuity and stability could have made all the difference next season. We have not heard any player responses to the sacking, but this action potentially just destabilises the team. New manager, new tactics, new coaching methods. FSG are number crunchers, they need to put the numbers into context. How well did the Damien Comolli appointment work out?

      As for Benitez, no argument there.

      • I agree that my club would have found top 4 difficult without Van Persie. I was not trying to slate your club at all, far from it. I would certainly not be happy with the removal of Arsene after our horrendus start, but this is not comparing like with like at all.
        When I was a kid, LFC were winning all around them, so I would naturally expect more from your club today.
        I stand by my unbiased view – LFC must appoint a young manager to build again, and he should be given 3 years to do it. No more of this hiring and firing. Plan a strategy and stick to it.

        • Don’t worry Gooner Itchybottom, I know you meant no harm. But if I can summarise the jist of the problem: Dalglish got a lot of things wrong, but FSG were asking for the impossible without ‘enough’ support and without the correct support. If they get this young manager (and I agree with all your points there), but don’t 100% back him with the correct resources and personnel we will become just like Chelsea – as you mentioned. Difference is, as far as I know, we don’t have Abramovich’s money. 

    • That’s what I love about football…

      Gooner Itchybottom, thanks for giving us an OUTSIDE view of what Kenny was about and how our club is run….
      Would you mind using the same “honesty” and giviing us your take on Arsenal football club and it’s manager….

  12. Nonsense article.Blind faith again. Dalglish was a very good player.That’s it.Passion for the club.Yes.Wants the best for the club.Yes.All LFC wants this including the supporters but every body knows this was their worst campaign since 1953/54.Don’t let the Carling up paper over the cracks.We played Cardiff and won on penalties.Not good enough.Simple.

  13. I think you’re being a bit sensationalist. Yes, it’s disappointing but who’s to say a new manager won’t be given time to build something. Maybe FSG didn’t see Kenny as a 3 or 4 year manager and acted now. He was appointed by them but the vision they had for the club didn’t involve Kenny. His good run at the end of last season ensured they had no choice. 

    Maybe we don’t have the squad to challenge on 3 or 4 fronts but we should have been beating some of those teams at home with Carroll and Suarez. Maybe they wanted to invest 30 odd million into us to improve the squad but didn’t think Kenny was the right man. Maybe they wanted to improve our image to make us more of a global brand and Kenny, with his awkward press conferences didn’t suit that image. 
    I don’t like to think of LFC as just a global brand but one side of me accepts that to compete you have to be like that now. Maybe LFC have been left behind, confined to history. Maybe we need a new start with FSG’s vision. We need CL football if we’re to grow. Unfortunately, football has changed. It’s a corporate business. Maybe we need to embrace it and write a new history. 
    A lot of ‘maybe’s’, i know because i’m not yet convinced by FSG. At the same time i’m prepared to run with the new.  Only time will tell.

  14. Your article make no attempt to say why KD should have been given another season and why he should have been trusted with more money?

    Taking sentiment out of window. Are league performances were not good enough. 5 wins at home speaks volumes.

    • OUR league performances were generally brilliant. Our results were poor. I have seen 15 years’ worth of ‘functional’ football at Liverpool bringing successes and all the time there were fans complaining that the football was not attractive enough – even when smashing Real Madrid 4-0 and Man Utd 4-1. This last season contained some of the most attractive football LFC have played since Roy Evans was in charge, and yet now attractive football needs to be binned in favour of results after 18 months and our first trophy in 6 years?

      There are way too many vocal LFC fans on the internet who don’t go to the games and to be brutally honest don’t seem to know a huge amount about football as a whole. Kenny should have been given another season to keep playing the football we are playing, sign a striker and see if we could turn dominant home performances into dominant home wins.

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