Dalglish sacked to propel Liverpool back to greatness, claims Ayre

The boardmember defended the dismissal of the Anfield legend, and insisted the Reds can find a top-quality coach to take over despite not having Champions League football

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has defended the club’s owners in the aftermath of Kenny Dalglish's sacking, insisting his removal was done help the team return to greatness.

The Scot had led the Reds to two domestic cup finals in a season without European football but, after finishing eighth in the league and with summer signings predominantly failing to impress, the coach was shown the door on Wednesday.

Ayre does not believe the owners have alienated themselves with the decision to remove the club legend, saying that sometimes difficult decisions have to be made.

“I don't think in any way would they alienate themselves. This was such a difficult decision because it was Kenny,” Ayre told reporters.

“If Liverpool fans feel the owners have alienated themselves because they make tough decisions for Liverpool to restore it to greatness then that is for people to decide.

“But they have an absolute commitment to the club and the fans and when they are here they make themselves completely accessible.

“I think what you need in football is a strong will to win and a commitment to making some difficult decisions.”

League Cup victory in February secured Europa League football for next season, but Ayre is adamant that the club still aim for a return to Champions League football as soon as possible.

“We will find out [the effect of not being in the Champions League] during the [hiring] process I guess,” he admitted.

“The reason I don't think it will have an effect is if you lined up most managers in football and asked them if Liverpool would be a great club to manage and most people would aspire to do so I think they would say yes.

“The history of this club, the reach of this club around the world, its fanbase and everything we have achieved and want to achieve is more than enough to keep any manager we would want to go after hungry for the opportunity.”

With John W. Henry based abroad for the majority, Ayre also dismissed the notion that an American-based owner that has a negative impact on the Reds’ form.

“From a board perspective you have the two owners based in America, somewhat distanced from the day-to-day but that is balanced with my input to that,” he added.

“We speak almost daily. They are very aware of pretty much all of what is going on but they are able to have a more dispassionate view sometimes.

“We balance that with my knowledge and view of what is happening day-to-day in this city and club among our fans.

“I think that is the best combination you can have because you always want someone to second-guess your decisions and make you think about things and they do that consistently.

“I don't see distance as an issue.”