Liverpool ousts Damien Comolli

LIVERPOOL, England -- Liverpool's owners released director of football Damien Comolli on Thursday, six months after changing general managers with the Boston Red Sox.

Liverpool has spent $183 million on players since Comolli joined in November 2010 from the French club Saint-Etienne, but expensive recruits Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing are among those who have failed to impress. Liverpool is eighth in the Premier League and will fail for the third straight year to qualify for the Champions League.

Comolli, a friend of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, said he was moving back to his native France "for family reasons," with the club saying it had reached the decision by mutual consent.

Liverpool is owned by Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Red Sox. Last October, Boston allowed GM Theo Epstein to become president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs and replaced him with Ben Cherington.

"We have a strategy we need implemented and we felt Damien was probably not the right person to implement that strategy," Liverpool chairman Tom Werner said.

"I think it's fair to say no supporter would be delighted with the results we've achieved this year. When it's time to act, we need to act. We're coming close to the end of the season and the transfer window for the summer, and we felt it was important to make this change expeditiously."

Kenny Dalglish, who joined Liverpool for a second spell as manager in January 2011, said he -- not Comolli -- has had the final say on the club's signings since then.

"He has been really helpful in every transfer target we've gone for," Dalglish said. "Everyone who has come into the club since Damien has been here was of my choice. Once I made the choice who I wanted, Damien went away and did a fantastic job of bringing them in."