Roy Hodgson has left Liverpool by mutual consent after just six months in charge and been replaced by Reds legend Kenny Dalglish until the end of the season.
In a statement on the club's website, the club's owner John Henry said: "We are grateful for Roy's efforts over the past six months, but both parties thought it in the best interests of the club that he stand down from his position as team manager.”
Hodgson said: “Being asked to manage Liverpool Football Club was a great privilege. Any manager would be honoured to manage a club with such an incredible history, such embedded tradition and such an amazing set of fans.
“Liverpool is one of the great clubs in world football. I have, however, found the last few months some of the most challenging of my career.
“I am very sad not to have been able to put my stamp on the squad, to be given the time to bring new players into the club in this transfer window and to have been able to be part of the rebuilding process at Liverpool.”
Liverpool’s American owners said they would discuss
Hodgson’s position following Liverpool’s ninth league
defeat of the season at Blackburn Rovers, and it was
expected that Hodgson would have one last chance to
save his job when the Reds faced Manchester United in
the FA Cup at Old Trafford.
But it appears that recent disappointing results, added
to Hodgson’s deteriorating relationship with the fans -
and associated falling attendances - have prompted
Former player and manager Dalglish has been handed
the reins for the rest of this season, making an emotional
return to the Anfield hotseat after leaving in 1991. Supporters
have been chanting his name during matches for months,
adding to the growing strain on Hodgson.
The ex-Fulham manager presided over a disastrous six
months at Anfield and leaves the club in 12th place in the
Premier League, just four points above the relegation zone. He endured a tough start after being knocked out of the League Cup at Anfield by League Two Northampton Town.
The Reds then dropped into the bottom three for the first time since 1964 following a shocking 2-1 defeat at home to newly promoted Blackpool and have since been beaten by strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as losing key games against Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.
Hodgson had maintained after every setback that rebuilding would take time but the majority of fans quickly lost patience with him and several of his signings, notably midfielder Christian Poulsen and full-back Paul Konchesky.
Henry added: "We are delighted that Kenny Dalglish has agreed to step in and manage the team for Sunday's FA Cup tie at Old Trafford and for the remainder of the season.
"Kenny was not just a legendary footballer, he was the third of our three most successful managers - three giants. We are extraordinarily fortunate and grateful that he has decided to step in during the middle of this season."
By Stephen Dickinson, Sports Reporter
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Hodgson's reign at Liverpool
Dalglish will take over for the season after Hodgson left the club 'by mutual consent' (Pics © Trinity Mirror)
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