Liverpool Football Club has announced that Brendan Rodgers will leave his post with immediate effect after having his contract terminated. The process to appoint a new manager is underway.
A statement on behalf of owner John W. Henry, chairman Tom Werner and FSG president Mike Gordon read:
We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment.
All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game.
Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch. Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.
The search for a new manager is underway and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.
According to the Daily Telegraph (h/t Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror) Rodgers will pocket a cool £7 million after being relieved of his duties.
Sunday's decision ends the Northern Irishman’s tenure in his fourth season at the club, having joined from Swansea City in the summer of 2012.
There have been highs and lows for Rodgers during his time at Anfield, but after some excessive summer spending and a stutter out the blocks in the current term, the Reds’ American owners have decided enough is enough.
Rodgers issued his own statement on Monday after his departure from the club, via the League Managers Association:
I have worked every day to represent the club to the best of my ability, to develop both individual players and a team that the club’s magnificent fans can be proud of. There have been some very memorable moments during my time at Liverpool and I would like to thank all of the players for their hard work and commitment. The current squad is one in transition, but they have some real talent and are showing a strong sense of togetherness. I expect to see them continue to grow and develop over the coming weeks and I wish them and my successor well for the rest of the season.
Liverpool has a magnificent football heritage and I have nothing but respect and admiration for the history, tradition and values that make the city and the club so exceptional. As well as my players, I would like to thank everyone connected with the club; Fenway Sports Group, the Liverpool Directors, in particular Ian Ayre, my coaching staff, the staff throughout the club, the volunteers, the Academy staff and its young players and of course the amazing Liverpool fans for their unwavering support, passion and dedication which has made my time at the club so special.
Finally, I would like to give a special mention to John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Mike Gordon. They gave me this great opportunity and even though we will no longer be working together I am sure our relationship and friendship will continue into the future.
Things could have been so different for Rodgers, too. After a season of transition in his opening campaign as manager, the side he assembled during the 2013-14 campaign took the Premier League by storm, with Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling spearheading a charge towards the title.
Eventually, the team fell just short of a surprise championship win, but many revered Rodgers for the vibrant style of football he instilled. As sports journalist Rafael Hernandez said, it turned out to be an anomalous campaign:
Rodgers never found a way to replace Suarez, who went to Barcelona in the summer of 2014, despite plenty of forays into the transfer market. As such, Liverpool underwhelmed in the Premier League, were dumped out of the Champions League at the group stages and faltered in two domestic cup semi-finals during 2014-15.
Nevertheless, after the sale of Sterling to Manchester City in the summer and the awkward integration of a host of new players, the warning signs have been there for another poor campaign. FSG, as is apparent, weren’t willing to see how things played out and have taken decisive action.
Looking ahead, speculation will rage about which man will take over from Rodgers. According to Neil Ashton in the MailOnline, Anfield chiefs have "sounded out" former Milan and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti about taking on the role, while charismatic former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is still out of a job, too.
Earlier this season, Bleacher Report’s Graham Ruthven tipped Klopp as the ideal man to take over at the Merseyside club:
Liverpool need someone who can come in and galvanise a fanbase that’s fallen into a malaise as of late. There are no high-profile local players to stir emotions in the Kop after the departure of Steven Gerrard, meaning the new manager must bring a renewed sense of ambition and purpose.
Rodgers will leave Liverpool a disappointed man. There were times when his progressive thinking and innovative coaching seemed a perfect fit for the Reds. But aside from that one remarkable season when everything aligned, he’s never emitted the aura of a man capable of steering this sleeping giant of English football to glory.