Liverpool’s Director of Football Damien Comolli has left the club by mutual consent bringing a quick end to the Frenchman’s stay on Merseyside.
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal employee joined the club in September 2010 and was one of Fenway Sports Group’s (FSG) first appointments upon completing their takeover of the club.
The 39-year-old has been present during a turbulent period at Anfield with original manager Roy Hodgson quickly replaced by club legend Kenny Dalglish. Shortly afterwards Comolli’s role was seemingly redefined from its original title of Director of Football Strategy.
Despite a large investment on new players, an alarming slump this season saw the club endure their worse league run for over half a century.
In hindsight this will have put a lot of pressure on a member of staff whose main responsibilities related to player recruitment.
Following a substantial spending spree last January which included the signings of Andy Carroll (£35m) and Luis Suarez (£22.7m), the Reds continued to invest heavily ahead of the current campaign.
The club paid an estimated combined fee of £36m for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing and Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson plus several million more on the likes of Charlie Adam, Sebastian Coates and Jose Enrique.
The success of nearly all of the signings made during Comolli’s tenure is questionable with even the undoubted talent of Suarez providing the club with plenty of non football related problems.
On the departure, Liverpool chairman Tom Werner commented: “I would say we certainly have the resources to compete with anybody in football.
“We feel there is enough talent on the pitch to win and, as I said, we’ve been dissatisfied, as most supporters have been, with the results so far.
“But we’re also talking about the future – we have a strategy we need implemented and we felt Damien was probably not the right person to implement that strategy.”
Kop boss Dalglish attempted to deflect criticism of Comolli by stating: “Everyone who has come into the club since Damien has been here was of my choice.
“Once I made the choice who I wanted, Damien went away and did a fantastic job of bringing them in.
“It’s sad to see anyone leave the football club and he goes with my best wishes.”
Comolli himself released a few words following his departure saying: “I am happy to move on from the club and go back to France for family reasons.
“I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work at Liverpool. I wish the club all the best for the future.”
There is no definitive news yet as to whether a direct replacement will be found or if the club will reorganise its current structure as a result of the departure.
Initial media reports claim Johan Cruyff, fellow Dutchman Louis van Gaal and former Barcelona director of football Txiki Begiristain are the early contenders for the role should it be retained.
It has also expected that Head of Sports Science and Medicine Dr Peter Brukner and goalkeeping coach John Achterberg will also depart Liverpool by the end of the season.
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