Liverpool owners FSG make aim clear after three ruthless management decisions

Fenway Sports Group have sacked three members of the hierarchy at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Despite Liverpool’s disappointing 2022-23 season, Jurgen Klopp’s position as manager remains safe.

The German is the first to admit that results and performances this campaign have not been good enough. The Reds are just eighth in the Premier League table and face missing out on Champions League qualification. They also crashed out of Europe’s elite club competition meekly to Real Madrid at the first knockout stage, as well as surrendering their FA Cup and Carabao Cup crowns.

Still, what Klopp has achieved since taking the Anfield hot seat in October 2015 means he has plenty of credit in the bank. He’s won every trophy possible in eight years and is adored by supporters. Indeed, Klopp will be given a chance to rebuild his squad in the summer transfer window and try to engineer Liverpool back to the top.

He has the support of owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) but Klopp will also be aware he’ll need results next term. Football management can be a fickle and ruthless business.

FSG have sacked previous managers Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers since purchasing Liverpool for £300 million in 2010. They’ve also made changes in the hierarchy such as axing former director of football Damien Comolli in 2012.

And that’s exactly what FSG have done at the Pittsburgh Penguins - who they have owned since completing a $900 million takeover in November 2021. This season, the Pens have missed out on the NHL play-offs for the first time in 16 years. For a team who are five-time Stanley Cup champions and one of the most recognisable names in ice hockey, it falls well below the standards expected.

As a result, general manager Ron Hextall, president of hockey operations Brian Burke and assistant general manager Chris Pryor have all been sacked. The process to find a new management team is now under way - and they’ll be tasked with ensuring that the Penguins are competing for the Stanley Cup every season.

FSG executive Dave Beeston told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “For the first time in 16 seasons, a regular season has ended and we aren’t getting ready for the Stanley Cup play-offs. FSG’s attraction to the Penguins was and remains the incredibly rich history of championships and the amazing fan base in the city of Pittsburgh. Our goal is to compete for the Stanley Cup every year.

“Ron, Brian and Chris were great and they served a great role and, look, we are all disappointed in the way the season ended. But we’re really focused on the future and moving forward.

“That process will begin immediately. When I say immediately, immediately following this (press conference). We’ll move forward and start to put together a list of what those traits are and what those characteristics are. But right now, it’s a clean slate. We’re going to start identifying those traits shortly.”