Dalglish has 'full support' of Liverpool owners

 

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner insists manager Kenny Dalglish enjoys the “full support” of owners Fenway Sports Group.

The position of the Reds boss has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after a woeful run in the league in which they lost five of six matches, ending their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Director of football Damien Comolli left the club earlier today but Werner said Dalglish's position was safe.

"We've got great confidence in Kenny," he told liverpoolfc.tv.

"We feel the team is going to make strides in the future and he enjoys our full support."

Werner also gave his backing to managing director Ian Ayre.

 

The club have been criticised this season for an apparent lack of leadership after their poor handling of the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra race row.

After the departure of Comolli - along with head of sports medicine and sports science Peter Brukner, who also left the club today - Werner was asked whether he envisaged any other changes at senior management level.

"We do not. We believe the senior management is very strong, Ian Ayre is an outstanding managing director," said the American.

"His charge is to raise revenue so that we can put the resources into strengthening our football club.

"We've got great confidence in the other people in football operations, and so the answer is there will be no future changes of significance."

Comolli's departure is significant in that FSG took the positive decision to make a change after seemingly losing faith in the Frenchman's ability to deliver their vision.

The Americans were keen to implement the moneyball theory to transfers which had been so successful at their other high-profile acquisition, the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise.

That essentially meant finding players who were potentially under-achieving or slipping under the radar at other clubs, but who could be signed relatively cheaply, made into a success and therefore have a much higher re-sale value.

However, in the three transfer windows Dalglish has overseen, the owners have forked out the best part of £125million, with a net spend of about £70million - which seemed totally at odds with moneyball principles.

The likes of Andy Carroll (£35m), Stewart Downing (£20m) and Jordan Henderson (£16m) have failed to live up to expectation and the best deals have been for Craig Bellamy, who came in on a free but has no re-sale value because of his age, Jose Enrique (£6m) and Luis Suarez (£22.8m).

"We've had a strategy that we have agreed on. There was some disconnect on the implementation of that," said Werner, who confirmed they had made the decision to remove Comolli.

"That strategy is a strong one and it will continue.

"We need to build a strong system under the first team. We're hard at work identifying transfer targets and we will be better next year.

"Frankly, we make these decisions with a great deal of care because it's our track record in Boston to give people authority and we've had great success with our manager, who was there for eight years, and our general manager, so we prefer stability.

"But when it's time to act, we need to act. We're coming close to the end of the season and the transfer window for the summer, and we felt it was important to make this change expeditiously.

"We feel there is enough talent on the pitch to win and I would say we certainly have the resources to compete with anybody in football.

"But we're also talking about the future - we have a strategy we need implemented and we felt Damien was probably not the right person to implement that strategy."

That does not mean, however, that the role of director of football has been abandoned entirely.

"We're still confident the structure we've discussed is the right structure," added Werner.

"That doesn't mean we won't look at tweaking it, but we feel a collective group of people making football decisions is healthy.

"The debate is healthy. Part of the reason we made this decision now is because we want to start the process of finding an excellent replacement."

Principal owner John Henry's target at the start of the season was to make it back into the top four but their recent run of poor results scuppered those chances.

"We've been dissatisfied, as most supporters have been, with the results so far," said Werner, of Liverpool's eighth-placed league position.

"We feel we are a club that needs to be perceived as the strongest club in football and we want to get there."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific