What Damien Comolli's departure really means for Kenny Dalglish
When it comes to the departure of Damien Comolli, then there really is only one issue that bothers Liverpool fans:
What does it mean for Kenny Dalglish?
There are already plenty of conspiracy theories doing the rounds, such as: The director of football has gone to pave the way for the manager to move upstairs and make room for a brash, young coach.
Or how about this one: There was a huge struggle for power between the two men, which Dalglish won, meaning he takes complete control of transfer business, after insisting on the departure of his rival.
As always, the truth probably lies somewhere in between those two extreme theories.
Though there were the inevitable tensions between the two men as they plotted the future of Liverpool Football Club, there is no suggestion of a power struggle, or even any serious disagreements.
Let’s get this straight, Comolli didn’t go because Dalglish forced him out.
He did leave though, because the American owners deemed this season’s performance not good enough, and somebody had to carry the can.
In that sense, Comolli is responsible.
He is the man who plotted Liverpool’s £120million transfer strategy , and – let us not forget this – is also the man who ultimately decided the managerial issue when Roy Hodgson was struggling so badly 15 months ago.
As Director of Football Strategy (as he was then), he takes ultimate responsibility for the arrival of Dalglish, for the decision to sell Fernando Torres and sign Andy Carroll, and for the planning behind Liverpool’s current salary structure which sees them with a wage bill virtually the same as Manchester City.
All those issues lead to his downfall, but for the time being, they will not lead to the departure of Dalglish.
Indeed, it seems the sacking of Comolli will give the manager some breathing space, and allow him to take sole responsibility for playing matters.
If that is the case, then Dalglish will live and die by his own decisions – but realistically, will be given the time to at least make some of those decisions and carry them through.
Logic suggests that means he starts next season as manager, with the remit of getting Liverpool into the top four, to justify their top four spending on wages.
When you examine the bottom line of Comolli’s departure, it is because his strategy didn’t deliver the minimum requirement of a top four finish for such a massive outlay.
Liverpool can not now finish in the top four, so why wait until the summer to get rid of a man who would otherwise be deeply involved in decisions affecting next season’s campaign?
Surely it is better to let Dalglish deal with the issues of player recruitment, and perhaps even more importantly, of player departures.
That is why he seems safe for the time being.
Yet at the same time, there are no grey areas any more at Anfield, no excuses and no division of responsibility.
There are no people for the fans to blame other than the manager now either, which means Kenny will have to deliver or suffer the same fate as Comolli.
That though, is a situation you can be 100 per cent certain the manager himself is completely comfortable with, and will in fact relish.
Read David Maddock's exclusive Liverpool column every Wednesday on MirrorFootball.co.uk.