What Liverpool Should Do With King Kenny

Kenny Dalglish, drawn by Ethan Armstrong

Liverpool fans are rightfully delighted with what Kenny Dalglish has done for the club since he replaced Roy Hodgson.

An unbeaten run has seen them climb the league and perhaps just as important, Dalglish has imbued everyone with a sense of positivity and tradition. The whole place seems happier and Kenny is clearly loving every minute of it.

This had led many to call for the club to give him a long contract.

That would be understandable but also a bit mad.

There’s no need.

This is not a normal situation. Dalglish will not be poached by another club. He only wants to stay at Liverpool and for as long as possible. His loyalty does not need to be bought nor rewarded.

He’s already a wealthy man who cares more about the club than earning lots more money. So financial remuneration is not an imperative.

From the clubs point of view, keeping him on a rolling one year contract makes much more sense. It means when the time comes to sack him – and though fans may find it hard to believe now, it will happen at some point – they won’t have a long contract to pay off.

Contracts mean nothing to either party except financial commitment. They are not a sign of loyalty on either party’s behalf. They are signed one week and disposed of another. Dalglish will not perform better with one than without one. His reward is being manager of the club he loves.

As for those who say ‘give him a contract for life’ they are deluded and will, no doubt, be the first to call for his sacking when at some future point in time, results go awry. Some Liverpool fans are currently in a blind-love mood and that is understandable but the owners cannot indulge in such romanticism.

Liverpool are not yet that great a side. Just now it seems great that they’re up to sixth after the early season calamities but next season expectations will be higher and if results do not match those expectations, the love-in for King Kenny will lose some volume and garner some criticism. If at the same time Mourinho became available, Liverpool might just be the sort of project he’d love and suddenly, things are more complicated. Being able to shed Dalglish quicklly and cheaply should the need arrive would be good for the club.

The club should announce Dalglish as the manager for next season, no harm in that at this stage but a rolling one year contract makes sense for everyone and after years of turmoil, Liverpool badly need some good, hard common sense to prevail.

Editor’s Note: Johnny’s new book: “We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole” is available via Amazon US or Amazon UK.


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