Rick Parry is to leave Liverpool Football Club. An official announcement will be made later this morning.
Full details are still somewhat sketchy right now, but the Liverpool chief executive has agreed to leave his post.
Our understanding is that a new CEO is likely to be brought in, as opposed to the role being handed to Commercial Director Ian Ayre, but there will be time to make a new appointment in the role.
According to the Echo’s Tony Barratt this morning, Parry will leave by mutual consent, but not until the end of the season.
The Echo also report that Parry’s decision is in recognition of how unworkable his relationship with Tom Hicks has become, as opposed to him conceding defeat in what has widely been seen as a power struggle with Rafael Benítez.
There is no doubt that the Hicks camp have seen Parry as an obstacle to the successful running of the club, and Hicks has stated publicly what some of those reasons are. Their inability to work together sits on top of those reasons, but also highlights that there are other key differences to be fixed before the club can move forward.
Co-owner George Gillett has made no secret of his feelings towards Tom Hicks, although he did hint that they had at least got a professional relationship back. Gillett has made no such concessions with Rafa Benítez however, and even on his last trip to Liverpool he was said to be happy to talk about why he’s not keen on the manager.
This is one story that the rumour-mill struggled to hear, with only a very small number of people aware of the news late last night. Instead the rumours, and indeed some tabloid stories, were of an approach by Hicks to Jose Mourinho through third parties. This story was laughed off, and Parry is not believed to be in the frame for trying to leak it. It really doesn’t matter where it came from, but it does remind us once again to take what we read with a pinch of salt.
Thankfully this particular story will be announced officially today, leaving less room for speculation.
Understandably, some will see the announcement as a step backwards, but really only time will tell which direction it takes us. It could take the club forward, certainly anything that sees the “executive team” actually work as a team has to have advantages. And we’ve been unable to step anywhere for the past 12 months, sinking deeper into quicksand every time we’ve tried to take a step.
This will also give Rafa far less room to blame any failings on others. If he gets the control he’s sought, he’ll get the blame if it goes wrong. He shouldn’t mind that if, within reason, he’s deserving of the blame. And fans can then judge him on his own merits.
For all the criticisms levelled at Rick Parry, he has always been a Liverpool fan, and there are many examples of him putting the club or its supporters first. But for a number of reasons, his time at the club really had to come sooner rather than later.
This is a big day for Liverpool; we can only hope it turns into a positive one.