Kenny Dalglish sacked as Liverpool manager

 

Liverpool have confirmed that Kenny Dalglish has been sacked as manager, just 16 months after returning to the role.

A statement on the offical website read: "Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and Liverpool Football Club announced that Kenny Dalglish is to leave his post today as Manager after having his contract terminated.

"After a careful and deliberative review of the season, the Club came to the decision that a change was appropriate. It is not a decision that was reached lightly or hastily."

The Scot flew back to Britain yesterday having travelled to Boston in the United States for talks with the club's principal owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner.

Without any announcement or public reassurances over his future following that meeting, speculation that Dalglish would leave the club has been mounting. That speculation has now turned into reality.

Dalglish released a statement this afternoon, expressing his disappointment at the decision.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as Manager. Of course I am disappointed with results in the league, but I would not have swapped the Carling Cup win for anything as I know how much it meant to our fans and the Club to be back winning trophies," he said.

"Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving the football club, I can say that the matter has been handled by the owners and all concerned in an honourable, respectful and dignified way and reflects on the quality of the people involved and their continued desire to move the football club forward in the same way as when they arrived here.

"I would like to thank all of the staff at the Club for their effort and loyalty. I said when first approached about coming back as Manager that I would always be of help if I can at any time and that offer remains the same.

"Finally, I want to put on record my heartfelt gratitude to Liverpool's fans, who have always given me and the Club their unwavering support. Without them neither the Club nor I would have achieved anything."

Dalglish's daughter, the sports broadcaster Kelly Cates, tweeted earlier: "Devastated for Dad but incredibly proud of the job he's done. Thanks for all the lovely messages already. Have a good summer x"

Liverpool have endured a difficult season, with the club finishing eighth in the Premier League, their lowest position for 18 years. Meanwhile their points tally of 52 was their lowest since 1953-54 (assuming three points for a win in every season). The Merseyside club did win the Carling Cup and reached the FA Cup final, which they lost to Chelsea - but those runs were clearly not enough for the owners. In total Dalglish won 35 of his 74 games in charge.

Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool, have invested heavily since taking over from Tom Hicks and George Gillett - sanctioning the signings of Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson - arrivals that all cost in excess of £20m. Qualification for the Champions League would have been seen as a minimum requirement if the owners are to recoup their investment, and having fallen well short, the Americans decided to act.

Principal owner John W Henry said: "Kenny will always be more than a championship winning manager, more than a championship winning star player. He is in many ways the heart and soul of the club. 

"He personifies everything that is good about Liverpool Football Club. He has always put the Club and its supporters first. Kenny will always be a part of the family at Anfield.

"Our job now is to identify and recruit the right person to take this Club forward and build on the strong foundations put in place during the last 18 months."

Chairman Tom Werner added: "Kenny came into the Club as Manager at our request at a time when Liverpool Football Club really needed him. He didn't ask to be Manager; he was asked to assume the role. He did so because he knew the Club needed him. He did more than anyone else to stabilize Liverpool over the past year-and-a-half and to get us once again looking forward. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.

"However, results in the Premier League have been disappointing and we believe to build on the progress that has already been made, we need to make a change.

"We are committed to delivering success for our supporters and our ambition remains resolute to return this great Club to the elite of England and Europe, where it belongs."

Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson, who is now the England manager, in January last year. Initially Dalglish was appointed on a caretaker basis, but was given a three-year deal last summer. It will be seen as an irony that on the day Hodgson announced his first England squad, Dalglish was shown the door at Anfield.

In the 61-year-old's first spell as manager of Liverpool between 1985 and 1991, he delivered the old First Division three times and the FA Cup twice, and his return last year was hugely popular among fans. Those same fans are unlikely to take this decision to fire the former Liverpool player lightly, and will be eager to see FSG has a plan.

Before being appointed manager last year, Dalglish was working behind the scenes with the youth academy and in an ambassadorial role. It is unclear at this stage if he will retain a role at the club, although the statements today suggest a position will be found.

FSG have been conducting an array of cost cutting measures of late, with director of football Damien Comolli one of those recently shown the door.

Among the contenders to replace Dalglish will be Wigan's Roberto Martinez, former Anfield boss Rafael Benitez and former England manager Fabio Capello.

The statement on the club's website finished: "The search for a new Manager will begin immediately."

Twitter: @simonrice

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit