For many, news Kenny Dalglish could return to Liverpool in an ambassadorial role is cause for celebration, but the most likely motivation behind FSG bringing him back at a time when many have grown skeptical of their stewardship is hard to ignore.
Fenway Sports Group appear set to make an unexpected January signing, but rather than any new player, the coming days are likely to be marked by a surprising return to the club for Kenny Dalglish. Despite that there are concerns his presence could undermine Brendan Rodgers—particularly if Liverpool end the season out of the running for Europe—the Times' Tony Barrett and others believe Dalglish is on the verge of once again taking on the ambassadorial role he was first given by Rafa Benitez.
When Dalglish was sacked and Rodgers took the manager's job, the new manager said his door would always be open to the Liverpool legend. At the time those words appeared little more than easy platitudes meant to help smooth the transition, and few could ever have imagined that little more than six months on from being let go Dalglish would test them by returning to Liverpool Football Club in any kind of official capacity.
Given the unexpected nature of these new developments, though, it is difficult to avoid speculation as to just what FSG's motivations might be. After all, whatever value Dalglish could conceivably bring to the club by returning to a role he last held before stepping in for the struggling Roy Hodgson shortly after Fenway signed on, it's likely that return would hold far more value for FSG as part of their efforts to shore up support amongst the club's fans after what by any measure has been a very difficult year for the owners.
Skepticism and even, at times, outright hostility towards Fenway has increased since Dalglish was sacked, and though his tenure was far from perfect, that dismissal in many ways became a catalyst that has since left many inclined to take the most negative reading of any situation that leaves room for doubt as to motivation or effect. The growing negativity is yet to reach a level such as the club's former owners faced, but after an extended honeymoon for much of their first year in charge it's fair to say patience has begun to wear thin—and there's no way FSG won't have noticed.
It's hardly a surprise, of course, that unceremoniously throwing aside the club's greatest living legend would leave many in a less forging mood regarding the embarrassments the club has been involved in, or the continuing lack of movement towards a new stadium or Anfield redevelopment, or to blunders in the transfer market and an adherence to a long-term strategy that has yet to show genuine results. The owners likely knew that at the time, though they may not have expected for things to turn sour as quickly as they did—or they may have expected their approach to show tangible results sooner. And so now, once again, they're turning to Kenny Dalglish to help bail them out.
Still, even if there seems a fair chance his return—if it does come to pass as expected—will take place largely thanks to the current ownership group's self-interest, many will still welcome Dalglish returning to the club in some form. He is, after all, the club's greatest living legend, and no matter the reasons the owners might seek to bring him back into the fold, perhaps the most important thing at the end of the day is simply that he is being brought back into the fold.