LONDON: Time ran out on Brendan Rodgers as manager of Liverpool only hours after a 1-1 Merseyside derby draw at Everton.
Less than five months after owner Fenway Sports Group gave its backing to the Northern Irishman after a poor end to the 2014-15 campaign the Ulsterman was relieved of his duties at Anfield.
Former Real Madrid coach Carlos Ancelotti and ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp have both been linked with the job but might be reluctant to join a club with little immediate prospect of Champions League football.
Rodgers was the second manageral exit of the day after Sunderland confirmed the expected departure of Dick Advocaat.
The second longest serving manager in the Premier League is Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe (two years 356 days) after Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger (19 years, three days).
A statement from principal owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordo said: “We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment.
Stoking the speculation
“Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch.
“Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.
“The search for a new manager is under way and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.”
Rodgers has been shrouded by speculation since a 6-1 defeat at Stoke on the final day of last season.
FSG effected subsequent changes to the coaching staff with Rodgers’ close friend and assistant boss Colin Pascoe and first-team coach Mike Marsh being jettisoned in favour of England Under-19 coach Sean O’Driscoll and former midfielder Gary McAllister.
Rodgers was cleared to spend £80m in the summer – much of which was recouped with the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for £49million – but performances have been far from what was expected, even if the side are still only three points off fourth place.
Injuries, most notably to captain Jordan Henderson, have prevented the Northern Irishman from fielding his strongest side so far this season while striker Daniel Sturridge has only just returned from a hip operation he had in May, but the owners have decided the club is not heading in the direction they want it to and have acted decisively.
At Sunderland earlier Advocaat became the first managerial casualty of the season only four mistaken months after being persuaded to delay his retirement plans for a year.
The 68-year-old Dutchman rescued the Black Cats from the danger of relegation nine matches from the end of the last season. He intended to retire but was persuaded to stay on the expectation of heavy spending on new players.
That money never materialised and Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to West Ham meant Sunderland remain without a win in their opening eight games and next to bottom of the table.
Sam Allardyce, who left West Ham in the summer, is among possible replacements. Advocaat’s assistant, Zeljko Petrovic, has also left the club and sporting director Lee Congerton has also offered his resignation.