Werner: Reds need evolution, not revolution

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The Independent Online

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner insists he does not need to oversee a revolution at Anfield but merely restore the principles on which the club built their success.



After a turbulent three-and-a-half-year period under former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, an air of relative stability has been brought to matters off the pitch following October's £300million purchase by New England Sports Ventures.



The new American owners, through NESV subsidiary Fenway Sports Group (FSG), have spent the intervening period assessing all aspects of the club.



And it has been time well spent as Werner does not believe drastic change is required, although that could not save former manager Roy Hodgson from losing his job after just six months in charge.



"It is a privilege to work for Liverpool," said Werner, who achieved success with principal owner John Henry and NESV with the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise.



"We (Liverpool) have a philosophy which has been successful for more than 100 years. All we need to do is live up to that philosophy.



"I hope the fans would recognise that we have been winners before, we have been judged in baseball as among the best owners.



"We don't want to over-promise and under-deliver but I hope they see we have certainly shown a commitment to moving forward, that we are not interested in short-term results.



"If we can show progress that is good, and hopefully we are building a management team which can produce success year in, year out as we have in Boston.



"There are challenges, we need to increase our match-day revenues, we need to have a club that is younger, but I am more encouraged by the essential foundation of Liverpool."



Integral to FSG's long-term planning is the appointment of a new chief executive, a process which is on-going but edging closer to conclusion.



They also need to find a way of boosting match-day income, either by building a new stadium or renovating Anfield.



"We are not ready to announce a new stadium. Part of the reason we have been busy this week is we have talked to a couple of people (about the CEO position)," Werner added.



"I do feel like we are making progress but we're not close to making an announcement."



The issue of the manager is something which will have to be addressed at the end of the season, with Kenny Dalglish initially given the job for six months after replacing Hodgson.



However, Werner admits the 59-year-old Scot is a genuine contender for the full-time post, despite suggestions FSG were looking for a younger man.



"Kenny is an iconic person in Liverpool's history and has many of the qualities one would want in an ideal coach," he said.



"He is competent, has been successful as manager, he understands the Liverpool philosophy and is very strong in man-management.



"John (Henry) and I were at Melwood yesterday watching Kenny talking to a particular player.



"If I were that player and was listening to how to do a certain thing on the pitch, I would want to be in that conversation because this man knows more about football than all of us.



"He has many of the qualities you would want in a manager and I have been extremely impressed with the way he has approached this situation, and all I can say is I expect we will start winning."

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