Bloomberg News

Rodgers Accepts Liverpool Job Offer as Clubs Discuss Reparation

May 30, 2012

Brendan Rodgers may be appointed as Liverpool’s new manager today after telling Swansea that he’d like to accept the 18-time English soccer champion’s job offer.

Rodgers, 39, spoke to Liverpool’s U.S. owner Fenway Sports Group yesterday about succeeding Kenny Dalglish, who was fired May 16 after the Reds’ worst season in 18 years, Swansea Chairman Huw Jenkins said in a statement last night.

“Following on from discussions with Liverpool’s owners, Brendan has informed us that he would like to take up their offer to manage Liverpool,” Jenkins said. “We’re currently in talks with the owners to agree compensation. We’re trying to finalize that within the next 24 hours.”

Rodgers will sign a three-year contract and compensation could be as much as 5 million pounds ($7.7 million), the Daily Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information. Calls to Liverpool weren’t answered outside business hours.

Liverpool, which last won the English league title in 1990, has spent about 100 million pounds on players since the start of 2011. It finished eighth in the Premier League last season, 37 points behind champion Manchester City and 17 points off a Champions League qualification spot.

The Reds won the Carling Cup in February, their first trophy in six years, and lost to Chelsea in the May 5 F.A. Cup final. While Dalglish guided Liverpool to those cup finals, the team lost 14 of its 38 league games.

Swansea drew 0-0 at Liverpool and won 1-0 when the teams met in Wales on the final day of the season, leaving the Reds with 52 points, their lowest tally since the Premier League began in 1992.

Mentored by Mourinho

A native of Northern Ireland, Rodgers was the youngest manager in England’s Championship when he joined Watford in November 2008 at 35. He’d worked under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea before leaving for the second-tier team.

Rodgers, whose playing career was ended early by injury, ran Reading’s youth team for nine seasons before moving to Chelsea when Mourinho joined the west London team. He was Chelsea’s youth-team manager for two seasons and then was promoted to oversee the reserve team.

Rodgers coached Watford for seven months after leaving the Blues and then joined Reading for a six-month stint until December 2009.

He was hired by Swansea at the start of the 2010-11 season, and the club defeated Reading in the playoff final at Wembley to become the first Welsh team in the Premier League.

In Swansea’s first season in the top division since 1983, the club finished 11th and had 14 shutouts.

Swansea’s Blessing

“Although we are very disappointed to lose such a talented, young British manager, we didn’t wish to stand in his way,” Jenkins said. “We wish Brendan every success.”

Rodgers’s appointment would continue a revamp at Liverpool. Dalglish joined director of football Damien Comolli, head of sports science Peter Brukner and communications director Ian Cotton in leaving as Fenway Sports Group -- which also owns baseball’s Boston Red Sox -- restructures.

Liverpool this month posted a club-record loss of 49.4 million pounds for fiscal 2011. The loss was mainly related to costs associated with plans for a 70,000-seat stadium that have been scrapped and severance payments to ex-employees including Roy Hodgson, who was fired as manager after six months and succeeded by Dalglish. Hodgson joined West Brom, leading the midlands team to its highest finish in the Premier League this season before being named England manager on May 1.

FSG, controlled by hedge fund trader John W. Henry, bought Liverpool in October 2010 after lenders to former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett forced a sale when the pair defaulted on a loan linked to their 2007 buyout. FSG wrote off 200 million pounds of debt owed by the previous administration.

Liverpool has struggled on and off the field as losses have climbed to almost 100 million pounds during the past three years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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