Kenny Dalglish, the Anfield icon who has been in charge of first-team affairs at the club since the dismissal of Roy Hodgson in early January, has signed a three-year deal to become Liverpool manager on a permanent basis.
Football24Seven told you yesterday that talks between Dalglish and the Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owners, had been ongoing since early April about a permanent deal being drawn up and that it would be finalised by the time the Premier League season finished.
Now, just 24 hours later, Dalglish and FSG have agreed terms on a three-year contract that sees Dalglish become permanent manager of the club at which he is so reverred.
Furthermore, Steve Clarke, the first team coach brought in by Dalglish, has also signed a three-year deal, to continue as Dalglish’s right-hand man.
“I’m obviously delighted to be given the opportunity,” Dalglish told the official Liverpool website.
“When we came back in January there were no promises as to what to expect, so for me it was an ideal opportunity to prove I had something to offer.”
Since taking charge, with the club having experienced a mediocre start to the season, slumped in 13th place, Dalglish has had a galvanizing effect on both players and supporters, to the extent that victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday at Anfield will secure Liverpool fifth place in the Premier League table and a place in the Europa League next season.
The Scot, who left his post as manager of the club in February 1991, has overseen 10 wins, three draws and three defeats in his sixteen league games – a record only bettered by Chelsea over the same period – a run which has encompassed eye-catching 3-0 wins over both Manchester clubs, as well as the recent 5-2 rout of Fulham at Craven Cottage.
“I want to salute the efforts of all the players as they have been fantastic and thank everyone at the club for the welcome they have given me since I returned in January” added Dalglish.
“I also want to pay tribute to Steve Clarke’s input since we started working together as he has brought great experience and knowledge to the role. The players enjoy the training sessions, understand their relevance to our actual football games and have responded brilliantly.”
With Dalglish’s future now secure, the Scot, FSG and Football Director Damien Comolli are now expected to sit down and press ahead with summer additions to the squad, starting with the Aston Villa and England winger Ashley Young, for whom a £15m deal has been muted.