The 61-year-old has paid the price for Liverpool’s poor performances in the Barclays Premier League.
Dalglish’s departure comes after he held face-to-face talks with principal owners John W Henry and Tom Werner in Boston on Monday. He was scheduled to depart on his holidays today but has postponed them and remains on Merseyside.
Rumours have persisted since Liverpool’s downturn in league form during 2012 that FSG would not stand for missing out on Champions League football after funding the heavy spending spree last summer, but rumours intensified once Dalglish returned from Boston; the club finally announcing his departure around 4pm today.
Owner John W Henry was full of praise for the outgoing Dalglish and confirmed the search for a new Manager will begin immediately.
“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 was also similar in praise but it was a decision that needed to be made:
“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.”
The Chairman continued:
“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.”
The man himself had this to say, confirming his love and loyalty for the Club whilst remaining dignified as ever; his last words were saved for the fans:
“It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as Manager. I greatly appreciate the work that Steve, Kevin, the players and all of the staff put in during my time and feel proud that we delivered the Club’s first trophy in six years winning the Carling Cup and came close to a second trophy in the FA Cup Final. 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.
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“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.”
Former manager Rafael Benitez and Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez are the strong, early favourites to success Dalglish as Manager.
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