Skip to main content

FA Cup semifinal gives Dalglish opportunity to repay owners' faith

updated 2:31 PM EDT, Fri April 13, 2012
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish manager has received the full backing of owners Tom Werner and John W Henry
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish manager has received the full backing of owners Tom Werner and John W Henry
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish gets vote of confidence ahead of FA Cup semifinal
  • US owners Fenway Sports give "full support" to Dalglish, while director Damien Comolli exits
  • Moneyball theory fails after club forks out nearly $200 million on players
  • Chairman Tim Werner sticks with moneyball plan which delivered Red Sox success

(CNN) -- Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will be under pressure to deliver an FA Cup semifinal win Saturday after receiving the "full support" of his bosses.

U.S owners Fenway Sports have whole-heartedly backed Dalglish, while at the same time showing director Damien Comolli the door.

Club chairman Tom Werner insisted Dalglish, who has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after a woeful run in the league, was the man for the job.

"We've got great confidence in Kenny," he told Liverpoolfc.tv.

"We feel the team is going to make strides in the future and he enjoys our full support."

The comments come as director of football Comolli left the club by "mutual consent", heading back to his native France for family reasons.

Peter Brukner, head of sports science and medicine, also exited the club, which has lost five of its last six matches.

We feel the team is going to make strides in the future and Kenny enjoys our full support
Tim Werner, Liverpool club chairman

Dalglish's job appears to be safe in the senior management shake-up, though he'll be under increased pressure to justify the board's confidence in the semifinal at Wembley.

Liverpool will go head-to-head with local rivals Everton as they bid to win a second trophy this season after claiming the League Cup in February.

But following the penalty shoot-out win in the final over second-flight Cardiff, Liverpool's league form has slipped alarmingly and they have missed out on qualification for next season's Champions League.

Comolli, who was appointed by club co-owners John W Henry and Werner following their takeover of the club in September 2010, leaves the club after failing to deliver their controversial vision for transfers.

Fenway Sports had been keen to implement the moneyball theory, which had been so successful at their other high-profile acquisition, the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise.

The theory, made popular in the 2011 Brad Pitt movie of the same name, involves signing cheap players slipping under the radar at other clubs, transforming them into a success, and giving them a much higher re-sale value.

However the plan appears to have failed miserably at Liverpool, the owners forking out the best part of £125million ($198 million).

Comolli oversaw the major spending spree which included the signings of Andy Carroll for £35million ($55.5m) and Luis Suarez for £22.7million ($36m), while the Reds also paid a combined £36million ($57m) for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing and Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson.

"We've had a strategy that we have agreed on. There was some disconnect on the implementation of that," said Werner, who confirmed they had made the decision to remove Comolli.

"That strategy is a strong one and it will continue.

"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 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."

Tottenham Hotspur play London rivals Chelsea in the other FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT