IT has been almost 9 months since Kenny Dalglish was sacked as the manager of Liverpool FC and while the merits of that decision have been argued over many a pint at many a pub by Reds fans this season one thing will never change; Kenny Dalglish is part of the blood of LFC.
In The Telegraph on 9th January it was reported that Liverpool were lining up another return for the King at Anfield.
For FSG this would mark a shrewd move. While Dalglish the manager enjoyed a tempestuous relationship with the media and caused all manner of PR nightmares for the American owners, Dalglish the man has such an aura that having him in the club is commercial gold.
Not only will he make for great entertainment for business guests of the club’s owners, he can also lead charm offensives to bring in new players to the club. Indeed, it is always a good marketing strategy to have storied icons available to be called on upon for promotional needs.
In the wake of his dismissal in May 2012, it is easy to forget the legacy of Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool Football Club. Not only is he probably Liverpool’s greatest player, he is also a man of whom Liverpool should forever remain intensely proud. His position as the most talented Scotsman to wear a pair of boots is unchallenged and though he has the pride of any Scot with over 100 caps, Anfield will always be his heart and home.
It would be of no surprise if Dalglish accepted an invitation to return to LFC, he has always felt an immense duty to the club. More significantly than that, his actions have defined some of the very attributes that make the club one of the greatest sporting institutions in the world.
His attendance at many funerals of the 96 fans who tragically lost their lives at Hillsborough show the character of the man not to mention his dedicated work and support in the quest for justice.
He has also been a man who put the club above himself at every opportunity. He stepped-down as manager when he felt unable to deliver; he stepped back in when he was needed to gain control of a leaderless, directionless team.
Many would wilt when confronting the adversity that Dalglish encountered last season. He defended Luis Suarez and he prickled at any suggestion of LFC being in the wrong. The response that garnered may have been unfavourable and even damaging but his actions were another example of his pure belief in only the good at Liverpool FC.
Yet, in spite of the character assassinations he suffered as a consequence he still managed to place silverware in the cabinet at the end of the season and lifted a struggling team to two finals.
It was not fortune that delivered that success; it was the sheer force of personality from Dalglish who could not accept failure while custodian of the team. And while success may well be measured in finances and Champions League matches, there is no doubt that the only currency that has ever resonated with the king is shimmering pots being held aloft at the end of a season.
A return for Dalglish would be appropriate for Liverpool because as John W Henry rightfully said ‘he is in many ways the heart and soul of the club’. Dalglish is more than just a former player and manager, he is more than Liverpool’s best ever player, he is more than the man who last won the league title for Liverpool. Dalglish is the man who connects the past and the future at Liverpool; he is the boot room and he is the future stars of the academy.
So while FSG may be motivated by the ability to make money off Dalglish’s name as well as his appeal as an Ambassador glad handing sponsors or prospective signings, none of this matters. Because the restoration of such a figure back inside the inner sanctum of the club is not just of financial value, it is a significant reinforcement of the institution as a whole.