Dalglish: "It's an Honour to be Back"

Central Press

As good as it was for fans to see Liverpool top of the table—at least for a day—again with a win over Crystal Palace, the biggest news of the weekend might still be Kenny Dalglish's return after he agreed to join the board of directors.

Normally, winning a match to at least temporarily go top of the table would be the only thing to talk about for at least a couple of days. Normally, though, Saturday's victory over inept Crystal Palace wouldn't have to compete with the return of a club legend to the fold a year and a half after he was let go as manager and fans were left to try and figure out how to square their personal loyalties with the fact it appeared to be the right decision by the club's owners.

If the fans had felt conflicted about watching club legend Kenny Dalglish being sent packing after a difficult first full year in charge that saw questionable transfers followed up with regression on the pitch, they will feel far less confused about his return to join the board of directors. Dalglish, it turns out, doesn't have any conflicted feelings, either, and seems just as happy about being asked to return to the club as those watching from afar are to have him back.

"I was very proud and privileged to have been asked to come back," said Dalglish in an interview conducted just before Saturday's match against Crystal Palace kicked off at Anfield. "John Henry and the members of the board invited me to become a non-executive director. It was a very proud moment and I'm delighted to be back. I feel a bit embarrassed because I've got one of the best seats in the house now to watch matches. It's an honour to be back here and I'm very lucky to be back.

"It came about through John Henry asking that he would like to invite me onto the board. The process was quite simple. The most important person in me coming back was Brendan. The manager is more important than I am, and his position was more important to me than my position. You could fully understand if the manager wasn't in agreement with it. So that was the most important thing for me, the fact that people within the club knew I was coming back and wanted me to come back and I wasn't standing on anybody's toes."

Certainly one imagines many managers would have hesitated when asked if they wanted a club legend—and moreover a club legend they'd replaced as manager a year and a half earlier—to return in an official capacity, but to all appearances Brendan Rodgers has embraced the club's history and the role it plays in Liverpool's current identity, and that means an open door at the club to all its former stars. Even ones counted amongst the club's best ever players and managers.

"They've had a very good start," added Dalglish. "Three clean sheets in a row and then the defeat against Southampton a couple of weeks ago left a wee bit of a sour taste in the mouth, but they've got an opportunity to get back here and get their noses in front again. They've done well, but like everything it takes a bit of time to develop—but it looks promising for everyone at the moment [and] the greater the support we can give them, the more successful we'll be."

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