Liverpool Football Club have sacked Kenny Dalglish.
The sentence perhaps needs reading more than once to make it clear, absolutely and unequivocally crystal clear, that one of the world's biggest football clubs have actually fired their most revered, loved and loyal servant.
Kenny Dalglish, he who has won 33 trophies with Liverpool as a player and a manager, has been unceremoniously booted out of the club for winning one cup, reaching the final of another and finishing a distant eighth place in the Premier League in his first full season back in charge.
Let's set all arguments to one side for a moment and ask: how do Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool, make the job attractive to prospective applicants?
If the man who can unite an entire fanbase is deemed sackable after one below-par season, what job security is there at Anfield, once one of the most sought-after positions on the face of planet football?
Let's rewind somewhat.
Whether Dalglish should have been sacked or not—whether any manager should—is almost always going to be a cause for debate, depending on your point of view, your expectations and your patience.
It's subjective, objective and most importantly, moot. The decision has been made, after all.
Kenny spent a large sum of money in the transfer window last summer. Not a large net spend, which is a reasonable argument, but still a large sum of money.
The point is, if £20 million was available to spend—regardless of if it was available because of another player's sale or merely because that was the gift from above—was it wise to spend it on Stewart Downing?
Players were brought in who were deemed good enough to get Liverpool back in the Champions League, but ultimately they weren't.
Dalglish did win the Carling Cup and had a chance to win the FA Cup before being beaten by Chelsea in the Final, so the Reds are at least back in the Europa League for 2012-13 season.
So if money might be available to spend, European football is on offer and the chance to be Liverpool manager is up for grabs, why isn't the position an attractive one?
The aforementioned demands and expectations of FSG are a big point to consider, but any driven, ambitious and confident manager would expect nothing less from the owners of a big club.
But Liverpool lack football structure within the club at present.
There is nobody on the board who has been "within" football. There is no Director of Football since Damien Comolli was disposed of earlier this season and there is now no manager or assistant manager.
Add to that the recent exits from the club of Dr. Peter Brukner (Head of Science/Injury Prevention at the club) and Ian Cotton (Director of Communications) and it is clear that Liverpool are in a rebuilding process at the moment, one which needs a lot of very specialist people to come in and work together from the outset.
There is also the small matter of the stadium issue to resolve.
Unless the Reds get very, very good people in this summer in all the key areas—and very lucky people in some respects—there is not going to be a huge amount of expectation that they will be capable of qualifying for the next edition of the Champions League.
Are FSG prepared to wait? They have shown with Dalglish that perceived mediocrity will not be accepted.
What will be acceptable? Top six? 10 points off fourth place?
Another cup run?
The next man put in place simply has to be given the time and resources to put his own stamp on the club, integrate his own methods on the playing squad and bring in the people to work alongside him that he feels are needed.
Liverpool needs to get back to the top of English football, and that is going to take time. A new manager coming in and working with the threat of the axe hanging over them is going to be no help at all.
FSG must ensure that they pick the right person to lead Liverpool from this point onwards—and most importantly, they must sell the club to the right person to make sure they get them.
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