Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has paid tribute to the achievements of Kenny Dalglish in bringing the club together after a tumultuous period in their history.
Dalglish was sacked as manager by owners Fenway Sports Group after 16 months in charge in which he guided the Reds through a transitional phase both on and off the field.
The Scot ultimately paid the price for poor results this season, with FSG losing confidence in his ability to progress the club as they want, but Ayre stressed the 61-year-old’s contribution should not be forgotten.
“When Kenny was offered the role on a caretaker basis back in January last year, the club was at a particularly low point,” he said.
“We’d just come out of a period of great turmoil with the previous ownership and on the pitch, things just weren’t working.
“Kenny came in after being asked to take on the role by the owners and he immediately unified the club – from the supporters to the staff to the players.
“He helped piece the club back together and for that, everyone at Liverpool Football Club will be eternally grateful.”
Ayre said overall Liverpool were better placed to move forward than they were when Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson, himself only in charge for six months.
“The football club is now in a much healthier shape than it was last January off the pitch,” he told liverpoolfc.tv.
“The owners have removed the debt and everything is now being put in place to compete commercially and financially with our main rivals.
“The only missing piece of the jigsaw – the most important piece of the jigsaw - is football and success in the Premier League.
“The club has a clear long-term strategy in place to get to where we want to be – on and off the pitch – and that is why changes have been made on both the football and business sides of the club.
“Whilst Kenny is disappointed to have left, he’s a man of great dignity and the respect we have for him will never change.”