If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.
As well as offering a rare chance to put my degree to some use, the above quote from Macbeth has summed up my recent feelings on Kenny Dalglish’s future at Liverpool pretty neatly.
If Kenny’s departure was inevitable, if it’s what FSG wanted to happen, then it had to be a decision made and implemented as soon as possible after Sunday.
That was the minimum requirement for me – some clarity for everyone on whether we had an ownership standing squarely behind the manager. If that wasn’t the case, then it’s hard to see how Kenny’s position could remain tenable.
Even as a Kenny supporter, would you want him fronting up an organisation with no faith in him, happy to cut him adrift?
And now we know. FSG have played their cards.
It was in nobody’s interests to keep Dalglish hanging on for weeks, with the uncertainty unsettling existing players and deterring potential targets. We needed either a clear statement of support, an affirmation that the three-year contract was a rarity in football in being worth the paper it was written on, or we needed this.
We got this.
Now we need to see the owners acting quickly – though not necessarily instantly.
Some are asking for an immediate announcement on a replacement. While it’s reasonable to say FSG should have people in mind as candidates, a coronation brings with it inherent problems.
Whoever comes in will need to contend with significant opposition from some sections of the fanbase. Not being Dalglish will be a handicap. For parts of the media, not being Roy Hodgson will be too.
So the owners need to be sure about their man, and we need to be sure they’re sure. If this gamble – and it is a gamble – is to succeed, we need to hedge as much as we can to be sure of some genuine payoffs.
All things are connected, and the appointment of a CEO and director of football is essential. Both must be visible. Both must be based at the club permanently. The CEO must bring relevant, outside experience and offer something more than enthusiasm for the club.
Hopefully work on identifying those key figures is well under way. The task of recruiting a manager should be taken seriously and with equal clarity of purpose.
An interview process need not take long. Speak to candidates this week, second interviews next week, new man in place before the Euros. What we don’t need is a rushed appointment which both increases the risk of the owners getting it wrong, and of washing their hands of responsibility if it doesn’t work out. Some time should be invested at the beginning of what amounts to a whole new project.
A new man must be, unequivocally, FSG’s choice. Their Teflon days must end. Good owners would want that.
Who to interview? Who knows. A shortlist of two decorated European managers, a visionary young prospect and a wild card from a smaller Premier League club should ensure a plurality of views.
It seems Kenny was as willing to go upstairs on this occasion as a recalcitrant Dalek, but hopefully he can play a role in the club in future. Whether officially or not he will remain an ambassador for Liverpool FC, and a beacon for all those campaigning for justice for the 96.