Another “quiet” week at Liverpool saw the confirmed resignation of managing director Christian Purslow, although he will remain as a non-executive director and will also act as a special adviser to the New England Sports Ventures (NESV).
Purslow arrived at the club, with RBS interaction, in June 2009 as a replacement for the out-going Rick Parry. For many months he had been heavily criticised by a large segment of the Kop faithful, for a lack of developments in the sale of the club or investment in it, as well as other matters concerning former manager Rafa Benitez and also transfers in and out of Anfield.
However Purslow provided one of the votes that saw a 3-2 majority win in favour of selling the club to NESV, which led to the court proceedings that granted the removal of Tom Hicks & George Gillett from the club.
Tom Werner, chairman of new owners NESV said:
“We are delighted Christian has accepted our offer to help us and the Club, given his great experience and love for Liverpool FC. We will now begin a global search process for a Chief Executive Officer.”
Christian Purslow added:
“I came to LFC to lead the Club through a sale process to get the best overall deal including, vitally, the removal of the debt. I am immensely proud of what we have all achieved. I now look forward to assisting the Owners in any way I can at this exciting time as they drive the Club forward to a bright future.”
Christian Purslow wasn’t the only person to provide a letter of resignation with commercial director Ian Ayre also providing his. Ayre was believed to have been unsure as to how the future lay for him at Liverpool under the new American ownership, but it is reported that he has been dissuaded from leaving the club, with John Henry & NESV insisting that he still very much has a role to play in their long-term strategy for the Reds. Ayre had been heavily influential in securing the club sponsorship by Standard Chartered.
As the Liverpool board is reshuffled to start the new era, principal owner John Henry and NESV chairman Tom Werner have brought in David Ginsberg and Michael Gordon alongside them. Although John Henry is kept from making his first Anfield appearance due to illness. Werner and other senior NESV personnel will join LFC officials in L4 this Sunday as the club face one of Roy Hodgson’s former employers, in the form of Blackburn Rovers.
John Henry commented ahead of the game:
“Sunday promises to be a special day at Anfield in more ways than one. I’ll be watching the game from home and although I have only been here for a few days, I already miss Anfield. We are hard at work setting a course for the future including the search for a chief executive officer.”
“I wish the club and the fans all the best for the match against Blackburn.”
The third resignation of the week was hoped to come from manager Roy Hodgson by an ever-growing number of Reds, following his latest round of questionable comments in interview which are becoming as thoughtless as his tactics and the side's performances. For a man believed to be “media astute” he will shortly be able to boast a top-10 hits list, ready to be in the shops before Christmas, although the book itself you will probably find lingering in the bottom of the league when it comes to success.
Hodgson has been quick to add to early comments in his tenure about not knowing who half the players linked with the club in the transfer window were, to comments on Rafael van der Vaart, Torres an option for Man Utd, not being outplayed at Everton and defending his Blackburn career, to name but a few.
But as they say actions speak louder than words, so ignoring the PR bloopers, allowing for the stress that any manager in his position must be feeling and just working with the results and performances, sadly the situation just doesn’t improve, arguably it's worse.
Liverpool fans and the club are known for their unrelenting support of those in charge of the side, whatever the circumstances or however bad the day, or result. There are also times in life when you are just totally convinced you are backing the wrong horse, or wonder how your manager actually got his job, Liverpool fans are at this crossroads right now with Hodgson, many are past it.
There remains of course those wishing to urge patience, provide Hodgson with the support and patience to allow him to turn the good ship around, stating such talk of a new charge is not the Liverpool way. Support comes in many ways though. Supporting what you believe to be in the best interests of the club does not have to have Roy Hodgson as part of its future. Praising the man for generating a stunning performance and three points against Blackburn equally does not mean you should change your overall opinion. Sometimes you can be wrong but sometimes you know you are just delaying the inevitable.
Unity is described as 100 percent at the club, rumour would ask you to consider to think otherwise. Body language tends to agree with rumour and the gates of Anfield say, "Please move on, nothing to see here"…to a degree that's football.
Hodgson was appointed by a board that was favourably arranged in the bank's interest but sorely lacked football credibility and experience, the reasons for which are a separate debate of their own. The football aspect of their decision at present however, is not really a debate but more a damning verdict of mistakes and misunderstandings from players and their deployed positions, through to tactics and over caution. Improvement, heart, invention, change, motivation, creativity and belief remain on the subs bench.
Hodgson remains admirably committed to the long haul at Anfield, you would not expect any less from a proud man, especially one of his generation. The definition of long haul could well be decided for him by the board though, if come 6pm this evening it is the smiling face of Sam Allardyce that leaves Anfield.
Coincidence it may be that Kenny Dalglish, one of the men that he failed to emulate at Blackburn, lies waiting in the shadows for many, destined for bigger and better things according to Martin Broughton—perhaps that time is now. Should it evolve in time that Hodgson also leaves by “mutual consent,” Liverpool don’t need to rush a decision on the Hiddinks, Rijkaards and Laudrups of this world, they just need to get it right.
Sometimes boards make the wrong decision. Sometimes things just don’t work out for good managers. Sometimes other factors play a huge part, but right now after eight games and for whatever reasons you prefer, Liverpool lie 18th in the league, playing poorly home and away and they pretty much deserve to be there.
That alone is just unacceptable.
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