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Wednesday 16 May 2012

Liverpool dismiss manager Dalglish

Boss has contract terminated after disappointing Barclays Premier League campaign

Reds legend Kenny Dalglish began his second spell as Liverpool manager in January 2011

Kenny Dalglish has been dismissed as Liverpool manager.

The news comes after the 61-year-old met with the club's Fenway Sports Group owners in Boston during the week.

The owners have been conducting a review of the season and they confirmed on Wednesday that Dalglish's contract had been terminated.

"The Club came to the decision that a change was appropriate," read a statement on the club's official website. "It is not a decision that was reached lightly or hastily."

Owner John W Henry paid tribute to Dalglish, who graced the club as a player in the 1970s and 1980s and who as a manager in his first spell in charge won three league titles and two FA Cups.

"He personifies everything that is good about Liverpool Football Club"
- John W Henry on Kenny Dalglish

"Kenny will always be more than a championship winning manager, more than a championship winning star player," said Henry.

"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."

Dalglish returned to the club for a second spell as manager in January 2011, initially on a caretaker basis after Roy Hodgson left the club following a poor start to the season.

He led Liverpool to a sixth-place finish and was rewarded with a three-year contract, which he signed in May last year.

This season, Liverpool won the Carling Cup after a penalty shoot-out victory over Cardiff City as well as reaching the FA Cup final but they struggled in the Barclays Premier League.

Honour

Liverpool won 14 matches this campaign and finished eighth, their worst league finish for 18 years, four points adrift of rivals Everton and 37 points behind title winners Manchester City.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as Manager," said Dalglish.

"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.

"We believe to build on the progress that has already been made, we need to make a change"
- Tom Werner

"Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving, 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 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."

Gratitude

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner also thanked Dalglish for his work over the last 18 months but insisted the club "need to make a change".

"Kenny did more than anyone else to stabilise Liverpool over the past year-and-a-half and to get us once again looking forward," he said. "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."

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Key Points

  • Liverpool terminate the contract of manager Kenny Dalglish
  • Reds owner pays tribute to Scot, saying he is the 'heart and soul of the club'
  • Dalglish says matter has been dealt with by club in an 'honourable way'