Liverpool owners begin search for new manager

Liverpool owners begin search for new manager

Liverpool's owners are focused on ensuring their next appointment is the right one after deciding Kenny Dalglish was not the man to deliver their vision.

The Scot was sacked yesterday just 12 months into a three-year contract after Fenway Sports Group determined an eighth-placed finish did not represent sufficient grounds for optimism.

Dalglish disagreed, pointing to a first trophy in six years and an appearance in the FA Cup final, but the Americans left no room for sentimentality in removing the 61-year-old fan favourite.

"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," said principal owner John Henry.

Chairman Tom Werner, who only a month ago insisted Dalglish had their full support, admitted the fact Liverpool finished 17 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham was a concern for them.

"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," he said.

"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."

Managing director Ian Ayre paid tribute to the stabilising effect Dalglish had had since taking over from Roy Hodgson in January 2011 and was confident the club was well-placed to move forward - even though they have no manager, no director of football or no news on proposed plans for a new stadium or redevelopment of Anfield.

"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."

Dalglish's view that winning the Carling Cup and narrowly losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup final was enough of an achievement to promote optimism for the future was not shared by the owners.

"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," said the Scot.

"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."

Former manager Rafael Benitez, out of work and still living on the Wirral, has emerged as a favourite to take over but Wigan boss Roberto Martinez - who would represent much more of a gamble - has also been linked.

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