Following the announcement that Damien Comolli has left the club, Liverpoolfc.tv spoke to the Reds chairman Tom Werner.
Tom, the news this morning that Damien Comolli is leaving the club will have come as a surprise to many fans. Can you explain why the decision was taken?
I think it's fair to say no supporter would be delighted with the results we've achieved this year. We feel we are a club that needs to be perceived as the strongest club in football and we want to get there. 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.
In light of Damien's departure, do you still think there is a need for a director of football at this club?
We're still confident the structure we've discussed is the right structure. That doesn't mean we won't look at tweaking it, but we feel a collective group of people making football decisions is healthy. The debate is healthy. Part of the reason we made this decision now is because we want to start the process of finding an excellent replacement.
Do you have a candidate in mind for the role?
We don't have any specific candidates in mind. Part of the reason we made this decision yesterday was to be in the best possible position to move forward as quickly as possible.
Is Damien's departure a reflection that the ownership group were unhappy with the return on player investment?
I would say we certainly have the resources to compete with anybody in football. I wouldn't want to get specific about any particular decision that's been made. We feel there is enough talent on the pitch to win and, as I said, we've been dissatisfied, as most supporters have been, with the results so far. 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.
Does Damien Comolli's departure have any impact upon Kenny Dalglish's position as manager?
Absolutely not. We've got great confidence in Kenny. We feel the team is going to make strides in the future and he enjoys our full support.
Do you envisage any other changes in the senior management of the club?
We do not. It's a good question. We believe the senior management is very strong, Ian Ayre is an outstanding managing director. His charge is to raise revenue so that we can put the resources into strengthening our football club. We've got great confidence in the other people in football operations, and so the answer is there will be no future changes of significance.
In terms of transfer activity this summer, will Damien's departure affect plans that are already underway?
We've had a strategy that we have agreed on. There was some disconnect on the implementation of that. That strategy is a strong one and it will continue. We need to build a strong system under the first team. We're hard at work identifying transfer targets and we will be better next year.
Finally, as chairman of Liverpool Football Club, do you have a message for the supporters ahead of the very important game on Saturday?
We're all excited about this match. We certainly feel the team is healthy and the team is committed. We just attended a practice where they are excited about returning to Wembley. There's only one team in England that has the possibility of winning this cup and the Carling Cup, and I think our supporters around the world should feel very confident.