Brendan Rodgers strengthens position at Liverpool as Academy pair Rodolfo Borrell and Frank McParland are sacked

Borrell in particular was held in huge esteem by the Academy players, who were left shocked by the dismissals

Youth players at Liverpool were today stunned to be told that Academy head coach Rodolfo Borrell has been sacked, along with director Frank McParland, in what appears to be a strengthening of Brendan Rodgers’ position at the club.

Borrell, who was appointed in 2009 towards the Rafael Benitez era, is held in huge esteem by the Academy players, many of whom consider him to be a supremely good coach. McParland was also respected within the Kirkby training base as the individual who would enforce discipline when required.

But the two men’s departures after four years at the club, seems to have stemmed from their doubts about some aspects of the academy’s future direction, as it develops under Rodgers. Rodgers has influenced appointments to the Academy in the past six months, with Neil Critchley arriving from Crewe Alexandra to run the under-18s, after Steve Cooper’s contract was not renewed at the end of last season.

The deepening sense of division about the future direction led Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre to call McParland and Borrell into his office yesterday and tell them they were to be dismissed. The vacuum the decision creates potentially delivers more control to Rodgers’ to shape the culture and personnel of the Academy, which delivered no fewer than seven youngsters to their first team debuts last season. But that raises the question of how much control the manager actually ought to have over that side of the club.

Benitez famously sought to assume control of the academy, amid his own frustrations about its capacity to deliver first team players. But handing that type of control to the manager creates a problem about continuity if he then leaves. Rodgers’ was unwilling to take on the Liverpool job under a director of football, whose role would have been to provide a bridge between first team and Academy.

Benitez ascribes huge value to the coaching role Borrell has played at Kirkby and is also a huge enthusiast for McParland, who has remained in contact with the Spaniard since his departure from Anfield. Andre Wisdom, one of those who graduated from the Academy to the first team last season, told The Independent last season that Borrell was his mentor and that the Spaniard’s low profile belied his huge role. He exhorted Wisdom, Conor Coady, Suso, Raheem Sterling and others to move the ball fast when they could, but to play a different, more physical way when required. Borrell was the one who "turned me from a boy to a man", Wisdom said.

The latest departures are the latest in a history of internal strife concerning the Academy. Benitez and Gerard Houllier were both at odds with former director Steve Heighway, concerning who should have control over youth football at the club. Heighway left in 2007.

News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
Ministry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Richard Dawkins is known for his outspoken views
people
Life and Style
L’Auberge du pont de Collonges (AFP)
food + drinkFury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Arts and Entertainment
Bourne's New Adventures dance company worked with 27 young Londoners to devise a curtain-raiser staged before New Adventures' performance of Edward Scissorhands
theatreStar choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links