By Luke McGovern
AS the rumour mill churned away its butter, the gossip spread and thus the realisation was digested.
Confirmation of Kenny Dalglish’s sacking brought to an end two days of intense speculation and scaremongering following his jaunt to Boston to draw a conclusion on what had been a season of perplexity.
Having formally decapitated a Liverpool icon in front of a prying audience, the honeymoon period is now over for Fenway Sports Group, and the onus is on them to deliver the grandeur that they pledged.
It’ll be fascinating to see how FSG cope now that their shield from the storm – Dalglish – has gone. They have hung a club icon out to dry, to soak up the criticism, only to be shunned before he can attempt to fix the glaring holes in his team.
Where, for instance, were FSG when the Suarez situation was spiralling out of control? They left Dalglish to slay the beast of burden, damaging his own iconic status, perhaps, to shelter their own idyllic image, fully knowing that Kenny would be gone at the end of the season.
Now, with no manager, no assistant manager, no director of football, no chief executive and no director of communications there can surely be no direction.
It is all very well attempting to steer the club down a new route, Liverpool have, after all, fell needlessly behind the rest of the Premier League when it comes to commercial viability and match day revenue, but when I walk up Arkles Lane on my way to Anfield, I look ponderously across the Vernon Sangster car park and derive – there is still no physical manifestation of a new identity, No ‘New Anfield’.
When John W Henry took the reins at Anfield, there were romanticised reports drawing parallels to their stewardship of the Boston Red Sox. There they restored a sleeping giant. A fallen club sumptuously reinstated to the pinnacle of the sport with championship triumphs and its old ground, Fenway Park, refurbished.
Last season, the Red Sox failed to make the play-offs, a catastrophic failure in the eyes of their fans who then became disillusioned by their coach. FSG took immediate action, concluding that, similar to not reaching the Champions League for Liverpool, the season was a flop. The coach, Terry Francona, was sacked and the general manager, Theo Epstein, resigned. Sounding familiar?
Now, the Red Sox are bottom of their division, the fans unhappy, the press disparaging, and the current manager is teetering on the brink yet again.
We retain our patience for FSG because they drove Hicks and Gillett out of town and paid of the club’s debt. For that we are eternally grateful. But for how long can you let appreciation cloud your judgment before you become disheartened? For the case of FSG with Dalglish, it was less than 18 months.
Of course we all want FSG to make the right appointment. The timing and the manner of Kenny’s departure has left a bitter taste in the mouth for some. But we all want the club back on the right road.
This summer will be the most important one in the club’s recent history. My worry is, if the results don’t begin to go our way early on, how long will it be before the boo boys start to clamber for their pitchforks and start knocking down the doors of the new gaffer’s office?
And I guarantee you, as soon as the new regime sets sail, the first sign of the ship getting rocked in a storm, you will get the same people who championed for the departure of Benitez, Hodgson (rightly so in that case) & Dalglish calling for the new manager as well. That will be a real test for FSG who have set out their stall now.
Having spilt blood all over the boardroom floor, they now find themselves presented with a completely fresh slate – they must now use it to impose their ideas on the club that they promised when they took over.
Every decision they make will be carefully dissected by every section of support, particularly by advocates of Kenny like myself. And if they don’t get it spot on, there will be a lot of finger pointing.
With expensive signings made, a club icon lynched, much blood spilt and nothing but an etch of a new stadium, the American owners’ next moves have to be very much more sure-footed.
This reads more like a threatening letter than anything else
A little bit. I was slightly scared when I finished.
A bit pointless article, this. Says nothing except pointing out that ‘bad heartless yanks’ may experience wrath of the Kop once something goes wrong on the pitch. I even sense the author secretly wants FSG to fail, so that he can say later – you see, I knew that all along!
I much prefer Danielle Warren’s take on our current affairs than this threatening (and pathetic) finger waving at FSG.
So do I Karen, but which one is living in the real world. All I see is amatuerism from FSG so far, & now the further Americanisation of the club with these new appointments. How does Kenny’s sacking sit with people who can stand in Anfield signing “you’ll never walk alone”. Personally I’d fell sorry for Ferguson if he had been treated in the manner that Kenny was & for me that’s some feat for me. There’s an old saying ” don’t throw out the baby with the bath water”. What makes us LFC, what makes us special, what makes us better, Yes we need to move forward, but lets do it with class & dignity.
Karen, you missed the point. This wasn’t merely a piece to lambast the regime of FSG, it was a rally call, an effort to point out that they now have an opportunity start a fresh. to do the right thing.
To say I want the club them to fail is nonsensical. Of course no one wants that. But surely you can excuse people for being a little sceptical of the choices made by the custodians of the club, given what happened not to long ago?
Nice article. Disagree with the first comments around threats or the article being pointless. There is a point and you are quite right that LFC fans are no longer the patient beast they once were.
Where i do disagree, and that’s the point of an article – to create discussion is “This summer will be the most important one in the clubs recent history”.
Think we forget the last year under tom and gerry we were minutes away from administration. Tiss a bit like a motty generalisation. The latest is always the greatest or the worst. The biggest ever or the smallest ever. ‘Ever’ seems to have a life shelf of about 3 years these days.
Whilst it is an important summer, it’s by no means in recent history the most important ever.
Lets all stick our smoking jackets on, sit in our recliner, put twitter (and the god awful national papers) down. Let the club make their moves and judge them then.
I’m afraid this article isn’t fit to grace this site. It’s a blinkered, knee-jerk, pro-Kenny rant.
We were all cautiously optimistic when FSG came in; hopeful, but wary. Nothing has changed for me.
These guys seem to have a plan. Whether it is good enough remains to be seen, but we owe them a chance to implement it. They have tried to be respectful to the fans, and – unlike the last administration, they seem intent to do most of their talking behind closed doors.
All the talking is being done in the press; let wait to see what they come up with before we slag them off….
“formally decapitated a Liverpool Icon” ?
“spilt blood all over the boardroom floor” ?
Really, really ??
“expensive signings made, A club icon lynched, much blood spilt and nothing but an etch of a new stadium”
This article is pathetic. NOT of TAW standard.
Very poorly spelled too.
A feel the comments thus far are a bit hard on the author.
I think what he has put down is fair game for Fenway. Whilst i agree things take time, i cant say Fenway have blown me away with their ownership thus far. Communication seems to be their biggest failing and a feeling that we are a distinct second best when it comes to the Sox, and no doubt we probably are in most respects.
This is a massive summer for them, they have cast the die. If they do go for someone like Martinez it will be interesting to hear their thoughts, considering he finished quite a few places down from the man they cast adrift for the same reasons of porr performance.
As for the Saurez affair, i agree entirely with the author. They left Dalglish to deal with all that himself, they fed him to the wolves. And for me that is unforgivable in some respects, as i firmly believe that Saurez was innocent simply because of Kenny’s backing.
Make no mistake – we don’t owe anything to FSG. Yes they bought us at a moment of peril, true. But they also got a club on the cheap with plenty of potential. From what i have seen of them so far, regarding squad cash, stadium, communications and ambition from them, they seem to be cheap in their effort but wanting maximum return.
Good read. I agree with what you’re saying, FSG now need to prove to us that they can deliver on what they originally promised. So far they have done very little to fill me with confidence.
They have not quelled speculation about who the next manager will be, it all seems very open. We have become a subject of ridicule throughout this managerial search with candidates publically turning us down left, right and centre.
Hopefully we’ll begin to see some positive movement from them soon.
Spot on. If FSG don’t make the right decision how long will it be before the fans start getting on the new managers back? The next couple of weeks will be massive. They have to get it right.
The owners need to stop all this media circus, get the person they want and then make the announcement instead of presenting a shortlist and making the whole debacle like a series of Big Brother, with public votes and people walking out trying to distance themselves.
I’m gonna leave the response to Paul Dalglish’s most recent tweets:
“…18 months ago we were fighting relegation, 1 day away from administration and a promised new stadium nowhere to be seen. Now thanks to FSG we are up to 8th and have our first trophy in 6 years. Now we are in great financial shape for whoever comes in having spent only spent 30-35m on transfers and saving millions on wages. Bottom line FSG saved the club and LFC are infinitely better shape than 18 months ago on and off the field.”
Hopefully this will be the last article from this author, utter garbage I’m afraid.
Awful, knee-jerk, misinformed article.
Reds and Red Sox fan here. The author is terribly out-of-touch with what’s ACTUALLY happening in Boston. In point-of-fact, the Red Sox ARE in last place in their division – because every team is playing exceedingly well. Meanwhile, their new manager inherited a broken team with a TON of injuries and is slowly but surely turning them around, just as he was hired to do. The Boston media, every bit as demanding as the LFC fans, is coming around to him: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2012/05/valentine_punch.html
Choice quote: “Forget the American League Manager of the Year award. Bobby Valentine should be honored by the International Brotherhood of Magicians.”
Point being: FSG have a plan, they’re well-informed, they make deliberate decisions, and they’re more often successful than they are not. Their next moves WILL be sure-footed.
But the real question is: will this author give them respect when their moves pan out?
Yowzer, tough crowd
Red Sox are doing better actually. 7 wins out of their last 10 (the best in the division). And although they are bottom of their mini-league, 6 of the 14 teams in the Amercian League currently have a worse record.
So their coach may survive yet
What a dreadful piece of writing.
Its “fans” like you that drag the club down, the sense of entitlement, the belief that you know best, the ridiculous close-minded view of things.
Just so you know, we are Liverpool Football Club, we arent “Kenny Dalglish FC”. Club legend or not, last season was a shambles. You say how Hodgson was “rightly” hounded out of the club, yet he was only there for 20 games. He got more points in those 20 games than Kenny did in his last 20. We were in relgation form for the last 5 months of the season.
The “expensive signings” you mention were brought in on the say so of the manager. Are you now blaming FSG for backing the manager? Your point on the new stadium is also nonsense. I have no doubt that, like Tony Evans, you will talk about how winning a cup is more important than finishing in the top four and all the money it brings…and then in the next breath you’ll complain that FSG havent gone and spent £300M on a new stadium.
To somehow blame FSG for the Suarez affair shows just how one-eyed your view is. Kenny Dalglish is a fully grown man, he should know how to behave in public. His attitude with the press all season was confrontational and his actions during the Suarez issue dragged the club down even further. Kenny could quite easily have just said nothing. To blame FSG for Kenny being his usual spiky and abrasive self is blinkered in the extreme.
Finally, you ask “how long will it be before the boo boys start to clamber for their pitchforks”? Well, why dont you just look in the mirror and ask yourself? For “fans” like you, the knives are already out.
“They left Dalglish to slay the beast of burden” Slaying a beast of burden? What is this tosh? Who let this guy on the site?
i don’t really get the negative reaction to this article. yes, it’s very, very poorly written, but the key idea is sound: FSG’s shield is gone.
having said that, the very idea that kenny dalglish – that is KENNY DALGLISH – should be used as a media shield in the first place is contemptible if true. he was certainly used as a sponge for the bad headlines and the scurrilous accusations that were thrown around. i fully expect suarez to be gone in a few months too, so they can properly maintain their reputation and safeguard the revenue streams. the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
all eyes on FSG…
Oh Luke!What have you done here?You’ve reminded people of their nightmares.They’ve taken their fingers out of their ears for a moment and didn’t like what they heard!
I see the point of this piece is that we’ve been down this road before;and we have!
I just don’t feel any connection with this lot and it’s not just because they sacked Kenny Dalglish.
I never wanted to have Owners or Directors voicing their opinions every day but I didn’t want silent assassins either.
I’m just getting a bit worried here.I’m beginning to feel that I’m supposed to be supporting some investment bank or something.Some entity with no soul!
I just hope I’m wrong!
I feel the same, i was in Liverpool on Monday and took the kids on the mini tour as it is my youngest`s birthday (8), last year we took two of his mates and had a great day, we went to the shop and got the `Kenny coat`and the Suarez kit. This year it felt very strange, the carling cup was in a cabinet on the floor as if no one wanted it.
We had a look at the new kit (I liked it, reminded me of 78/79) kids didn`t and Flavien with his birthday money spent it on this seasons away kit training top. We had just spent two days at Lords watching the cricket, it had been our first time at Lords and it was a fantastic experience, it was £45 a day for me and £5 each for the kids (members guests), I always imagined Lords to be a stuffy old place, but i was wrong, it was very friendly and traditional, but like a big family that meets up every year, eats, drinks, plays (on the nursery pitch) and watches cricket.
Why is this relevent? I am not sure, but i liked the tradition, history and atmosphere at Lord`s, there was a harmony about it, and i felt Anfield a very cold place in comparison. For a younger generation of supporters I imagine this is nostalgic twaddle, but on a personal level, visiting Anfield the week Kenny was sacked was very emotional and i did not enjoy it.
I guess this must have been posted as a “balance” to Danielle Warren’s piece, if thats the case its missed the mark I am afraid.
This piece of writing is dripping with hysteria and baseless speculation.
“formally decapitated a Liverpool Icon”
“spilt blood all over the boardroom floor”
“expensive signings made, A club icon lynched, much blood spilt and nothing but an etch of a new stadium”
This kind of language is sadly predictable to anybody on twitter, but the next quote is the most interesting
“They left Dalglish to slay the beast of burden, damaging his own iconic status, perhaps, to shelter their own idyllic image, fully knowing that Kenny would be gone at the end of the season.”
Is there ANY evidence to support the idea that FSG deliberately hung The King out to dry so they could justifiably sack him? I am completely in favour of reserving judgement on FSG until they prove themselves, its pretty much our duty after what we went through with the cowboys.
Who knows, it may turn out that FSG ARE H&G version 2.
But this isn’t critical analysis, this isn’t anger based on broken promises. This is a completely fabricated version of events that is designed along with the hysterical language throughout to inflame opinion.
Does the author realise how ridiculous that idea is? Does the author ever sit down and analyse as to why he believes in this baseless narrative?
The author is not walking alone here, blogs, forums and twitter are awash with similar ridiculous nonsense and conspiracy theories.
I was tempted to say that my worry is the narrative that articles like this are perpetuating will gain some kind of credibility, but the reaction to this in the comments section are genuinely encouraging. As long as there are genuine reds about willing to share their opinions and have their own challenged, the incoherent mindless anti FSG nonsense that certain elements are attempting to force on the rest of us just wont gain hold.
Writing like this aims to paint the owners in a poor light, but ultimately says far more about the author.
Thanks Al,incoherence seems to be you strongest suit here!
But just step back a moment.Dalglish had the team playing pretty good football most of the time.If you look at it over the 50 odd games he was in charge we would probably have been quite close to Champions League qualification.
That’s no chance to give anybody is it?And does the next man fall if he doesn’t reach 4th place?
This piece is about a rush to justice and how distant owners can make snap decisions without understanding the heartbeat of this Club.
We’re fans.we’d like our feelings to be acknowledged!
I was about to reply but its obvious you must be referring to a different Al because virtually everything you said has nothing to do with anything I wrote.
Here we go again; someone has a point of view, posts an article and consequently some people tell him that he’s no kind of Liverpool fan and a disgrace etc just because he has an opinion they disagree with.
After some years in the making, it seems to me that our fanbase is now split to a point where reconcillation seems unlikely. The most depressing thing about this apparent split is the fact that on every forum etc I visit, one side is constantly telling the other side that they are ‘no kind of Liverpool fan’ simply because they don’t share a belief system.
Personally I’m willing to allow FSG to act out this managerial cull, both in terms of the team manager and at infrastructure level and will not castigate them until they deserve it. Worryingly though, their proud pronouncement of Kenny’s sacking (rather than showing a bit of class and using the mutual consent line) does give me cause for concern that I am eventually not going to end up a fan of theirs. Likewise the public scattergun approach to finding a replacement. Especially when our European Cup winning manager is scratching at the door like a lost puppy. Time will tell.
34 of my 41 years have been spent as a passionate Red. If I’m honest, Rafa’s sacking was the beginning of the first feelings of disconnect I’ve ever had with LFC. Kenny’s appointment pleased me but I was never sure it was going to work. He’s a man of honour and dignity amid a modern-day press full of chav hacks. The friction was always going to grow and the press conferences were always going to be painful. Likewise the post-match interviews were always going to irritate him as some SKY bulb tried to push his buttons.
I was pleased when some changes were announced upstairs, however I was extremely irritated that Ian Ayre survived. He made money for Liverpool as Commercial Director, but management material he most certainly isn’t. I’m not ITK but if what I read from those who claim to be is accurate; it is him more than any other that I should blame for Rafa going and that utter clown Hodgson being appointed. He never made the calls, but he had the ears of those who did and talked constantly and did very nicely for himself out of it.
I had no maroal problem with The Kop calling for Kenny when Roy was dying on his ass every week, but the same people presumably booed at the end of Kenny’s reign too, just like they called for Rafa’s head. If we appoint anyone next but a legend then they will be subjected to the same dog’s abuse eventually.
The web tells us that Rafa is the choice of the majority, yet he will never get near this club again while people like Ayre have the owner’s ears. Instead we will be in uncharted territory with a ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ manager as if the candidates are washing powders and somehow football has suddenly changed and only people under 40 ‘get it’.
I’m in the camp that can fully understand the letter SOS sent because I share their fears – the difference is I wouldn’t have gone public for a while yet until more mistakes a la Kenny’s sacking have been made. They could be H&G part 2, but they are nowhere near that yet and SOS shot their bolt early.
However; I also sympathise with fans who say we should all support our manager no matter who is appointed. That’s a noble sentiment and one that I agree with. The problem in my mind is; anyone over a certain age simply cannot reconcile some the names linked with Liverpool. People say that Shanks took years to succeed etc but frankly that is an idiotic argument. Making comparisons to football or society then and now is like comparing parchment to blu-ray.
Whatever happens in the coming weeks and months, I hope Liverpool Football Club will be restored to one of the finest in Europe on the field. I’m gutted for Rafa because I feel that Liverpool as a club and some more idiotic sections of the fanbase owe him – big time. I’m gutted for Kenny that he willingly did a favour to LFC and to the owners, only to be sacked.
All I can say with any certainty at the moment is; I too have a horrible feeling that I am never going to have the same relationship again that I have had with this great club since I was 7 years old.
I hope FSG deliver us to the promised land, even if it does involve a painful journey and the loss of some old friends along the way. I appreciate the fact that what I have written may appear to be a pro-Rafa appeal, but that’s the main reason why I want Rafa back so badly – because the last time I understood Liverpool Football Club was when he was our manager. I miss watching the team step over the white line and believing we could beat anyone.
Transition is for small clubs, for clubs in crisis with poor ledearship. Clubs like ours have continuity. Sacking Kenny without bringing Rafa back or appointing someone else fills me with dread for the future.
I hope in the meantime we can all stop having a go at each other just because we disagree or their will be no more ‘Liverpool Way’ again.
Fantastic reply. I’ve been a fan for just one year more than your good self and you pretty well summed up what LFC means to me too.
“Yes they bought us at a moment of peril, true. But they also got a club on the cheap with plenty of potential.” Exactly.
This is something that a lot of people seem to miss with the “they saved us from administration” line. Technically, yes they did, but that was not why they bought us – like a fans consortium would – they bought us for the exact reason you mentioned above.
And after the last owners I’m surprised how many people exhort us to simply “trust” the owners based on their ownership of the Red Sox, of whom they ARE/WERE fans. Not that I’m suggesting for one minute that they will turn out as bad as the last two, but I do feel that any trust should be tempered with wariness at least.
Jury still out for me.
Crackin response, Filthbag!
And thanks for the original article…
the key point is that FSG lack of funding not just in transfers (35m n demanding 4th?! are they not aware of the rest of the top clubs spending) but also in administrative funding (CEO of dein’s capability 18th months is too long for an excuse for not finding one, anyone of that calibre should have been decided). Bad PR control to assist Dalglish over suarez affairs. basically, to the observant you can tell that FSG have been very silent since awhile from jan onwards. what are they doing we never know. the point is money talks and liverpool is a big club with huge fanbase and FSG knows it thats why they bought us at a high price knowing we CAN make more revenue.
so either they are wasting our time or just putting us as a shop window for the true competing billionaires. they are amercians, thats a given that they arent here for long as they dont enjoy or understand football let alone respect the tradition and class of a person like dalglish who embodies the liverpool spirit.
on other news – hazard is going to chelsea and hulk is being chased by EPL CL top clubs.
stop the misdirections of hiring and firing, Suarez fiasco this and New Kit that. show us the 35m spent on high wage, hulk, bale or lavezzi WORLD CLASS WINGER we have been glaringly lacking for top 4th CL spot team. that is the reality. either you have the finance or just sell up which imho they are trying to do behind the scenes. a empty management structure is very attractive to new buyers of DIC kind. its now or never i guess.
the rest of forums, articles ive been reading the pros and cons article are just coffee and smoke crap talk getting us nowhere. And the truth is that I love kenny so much that it really odesnt matter if we didnt make it this or even next season to CL as the owners are skint…