LIVERPOOL: Brendan Rodgers was appointed the new manager of Liverpool on Friday, the Premier League club announced, after joining from Swansea.
The 39-year-old Northern Irishman succeeds Anfield great Kenny Dalglish, who was sacked last month after his second spell in charge ended with Liverpool finishing the season a massive 37 points behind champions Manchester City.
The Merseyside club's American owners the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) had given Dalglish more than 100 million pounds (159 million dollars) to spend in the transfer market since he took over from the sacked Roy Hodgson, now in charge of England, in 2011.
But expensive signings such as Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam have largely flopped, with Liverpool's eighth place finish their worst season-ending position for nearly two decades although they did win the League Cup.
Swansea, in their first Premier League season, finished 11th and also took four points off Liverpool in their two league games.
“I'm blessed to be given this opportunity,” said Rodgers, who spent two years in charge of Swansea.
“I want to thank John Henry (Liverpool's principal owner), Tom Werner (chairman) and FSG for the opportunity to manage such a great club.
“I'm really excited and I can't wait to get started on this incredible project going forward. I promise to dedicate my life to fight for this club and defend the great principles of Liverpool Football Club on and off the field.”
Henry said: “Fenway Sports Group is committed to building for the long-term. Brendan Rodgers's appointment today as manager of Liverpool Football Club is one of the most important steps we will take in building the kind of club on and off the pitch supporters can be excited about.
“Brendan's comprehensive football philosophy is perfectly aligned with those at the club and those soon to join the club. He was the first choice unanimously among them and he had no hesitation at all in embracing exactly what we want to try to build at Liverpool.”
The Merseysiders, five-times European champions, won the last of their 18 English titles in 1990 and Henry added: “We do not expect miracles overnight nor should anyone else.
“But we firmly believe that the direction the club is heading in will lead to Premier League championships. We will embrace the unconventional, build the right way and together set a bold, exciting course for this historic club.”