Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Comolli out but Dalglish safe - owners

Kenny Dalglish

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has admitted owners Fenway Sports Group decided director of football Damien Comolli was not the man to deliver their vision for the club.

But manager Kenny Dalglish has been told his position is not under immediate threat.

"We've got great confidence in Kenny," Werner told liverpoolfc.tv. "We feel the team is going to make strides in the future and he enjoys our full support."

When they bought Liverpool in October 2010, the Americans were keen to implement the 'Moneyball' theory to transfers which had been so successful at their other high-profile acquisition, the Boston Red Sox.

That essentially meant finding players who were underachieving or slipping under the radar at other clubs, but who could be signed relatively cheaply, made into a success and then have a much higher resale value.

However, the owners have so forked out the best part of £125million - with a net spend of about £70million - on big-money purchases like Andy Carroll (£35million), Luis Suarez (£22.8million), Stewart Downing (£20million) and Jordan Henderson (£16million) with limited success.

"We've had a strategy that we have agreed on. There was some disconnect on the implementation of that," said Werner, confirming they had made the decision to remove Comolli and also Peter Brukner, the head of sports medicine and sports science.

"Frankly, we make these decisions with a great deal of care because it's our track record in Boston to give people authority and we've had great success with our manager, who was there for eight years, and our general manager, so we prefer stability.

"But when it's time to act, we need to act. We're coming close to the end of the season and the transfer window for the summer and we felt it was important to make this change expeditiously.

"We feel there is enough talent on the pitch to win and I would say we certainly have the resources to compete with anybody in football. But we're also talking about the future. We have a strategy we need implemented and we felt Damien was probably not the right person to implement that strategy."

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