12 May, 2011
On Thursday, May 12 Fenway Sports Group and Liverpool FC confirmed that Kenny Dalglish had been appointed as Team Manager on a permanent basis.
Dalglish, who was initially given the job until the end of the campaign, signed a three year deal with the Reds. It was also announced that First Team Coach Steve Clarke has put pen to paper on a three year contract.
Principal Owner John Henry said: "Kenny is a legendary Liverpool figure both as a supremely gifted footballer and successful manager. Since returning in January he has shown extraordinary leadership and the ability to bring the best out of so many people associated with the Club. It was obvious to us very early on that the atmosphere surrounding the Club had been transformed by his presence. No one else could have produced such a response. Therefore, I'm delighted we have agreed to a new contract. We didn't need nor want to look elsewhere for the right man to manage the team.
"Working closely with him, we've seen first-hand his love for the Club and his determination to do whatever is necessary to produce a winning side again. He has a unique relationship with our supporters and embodies everything that is special about the Liverpool way of doing things. Liverpool enjoys a global standing within the sport, but having Kenny in the dug-out will help us in our efforts to bring the best available talent to the Club as we continue to move the club forward.
"I'm also pleased we have reached an agreement with Steve Clarke, as his contribution to Kenny's backroom team has been significant over the past four months."
Chairman Tom Werner commented: "It was extremely important that we enjoyed a period of stability after some difficult times and Kenny has done a tremendous job over the last three months in bringing the whole Club back together. It's clear how much the players have responded to his leadership, his man management skills and knowledge of the game and that sense of optimism now runs throughout the Club. We have a clear vision of the way a Liverpool team should play and the way the Club should be run and Kenny's inspirational effect on the senior squad and his keenness to involve and feature the younger players from our Academy set-up sits perfectly with that way of thinking."
John Henry added: "This has been an exciting time in the history of the Club. The appointments of Ian Ayre and Damien Comolli and now Kenny represent a significant strengthening of our senior management team going forward. We face a huge challenge to take Liverpool back to the level its fans deserve and in an increasingly competitive environment, but I'm confident we now have the right people in place to do that."
Managing Director Ian Ayre said: "This is great news and it was an easy decision to make in the sense that there was never anybody else in the running. Over the last few months everybody has had a great opportunity to work together; the owners, Kenny, Damien and myself and it's there to be seen what Kenny and Steve Clarke have achieved together.
"I'm not surprised by what Kenny has achieved since he returned to the Club. It's an amazing achievement for him to have got us where we are but somebody who I respect a lot in football said to me once if you are going to pick a manager then pick a winner and that's what Kenny is. For a long time we have needed people here who really understand what this Club is, what it means to our fans and what makes it different to other clubs. Kenny knows that inside out and I think that's a key quality. He understands what matters at Liverpool and what needs to be done here."
Kenny Dalglish said: "I said when I took the job on in January that I was just happy to help the Club out for the remainder of the season. Now the owners have decided in their wisdom that they want me to stay a little longer and it's fantastic news for both myself and Steve Clarke that we have signed these contracts. Both John and Tom have taken their time to assess what was best for the football club and bring in the people they wanted to take the Club forward. They are both winners, but understand what the supporters want from a Liverpool side and the way that we should go about things. This is a unique football Club and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to help build something special here again.
"I want to salute the efforts of all the players as they have been fantastic and thank everyone at the Club for the welcome they have given me since I returned in January.
"I also want to pay tribute to Steve Clarke's input since we started working together as he has brought great experience and knowledge to the role. The players enjoy the training sessions, understand their relevance to our actual football games and have responded brilliantly."