LFC Owners Show There's No Room For Nostalgia
Kenny Dalglish won three league titles during his first spell at Anfield - and the Carling Cup during his second stint
9:34pm UK, Wednesday May 16, 2012
Make no mistake, Liverpool's American owners Fenway are businessmen and want a return on their investment - and if that means removing a legend, so be it.When John W Henry took over Liverpool Football Club from vilified fellow Americans George Gillett and Tom Hicks in October 2010 he would have been made aware by his people that this was one of the top 'brands' in the world game.
Five European Cups and a then joint English record of 18 titles was all he needed to know.
A top four domestic finish would surely be within reach of a club with such global pulling power - and with it the riches that sustain the elite clubs via the Champions League.
John W Henry has shown his ruthless side
In the intervening years they've slipped miles behind brash nouveau riche clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City, not to mention the Manchester United dynasty, made all the more difficult to stomach because it raised memories of Liverpool's own long-gone 'bootroom' line of succession, when they dominated English and European football.
If by bringing in Kenny Dalglish for a second spell at the club he served so well as player and manager Fenway thought they could tap straight back into that stream of success, they were wrong.
Dalglish's three league titles as coach of Liverpool were pre-Premier League and the erosion of the empire since then was beyond the Scot second time around.
They've simply been overtaken by their rivals. Winning the Carling Cup this season only papered over the cracks of the bigger picture.
Champions League football is what the Americans demand and with more than £100m invested in new players - and the worst league showing for half a century in return - Dalglish was only heading one way. Not upstairs, but out of the door.
They'll remember him across Merseyside as a true legend of a great club. But there's no room for nostalgia in the cut-throat world of football's big league.