RICK Parry is set to leave Liverpool Football Club.
The long serving chief executive officer will not leave with immediate effect though - with all parties in agreement that he will remain in position until the end of the current season.
Speculation will inevitably surface suggesting Parry has lost a power struggle with Reds boss Rafa Benitez but the ECHO understands the real reason for his departure is an acknowledgement that his relationship with Tom Hicks is unworkable.
As yet, there are no indications about who will replace Parry when his time at the club comes to an end.
In a statement on the club website, Liverpool Co-Chairman Tom Hicks said today: "Rick's commitment to Liverpool Football Club is epitomised by his desire to ensure that this transitional period is managed efficiently and we are grateful to him for his help. He will always remain a friend of the football club."
Fellow Co-Chairman George Gillett added: "I would like to thank Rick for his significant service to the Club and the assistance he has given us since we joined Liverpool. He has been integral to the club's success over the past decade and leaves with our best wishes for the future."
Rick Parry said; "I have had 12 very exciting years at Liverpool and am extremely proud of what has been achieved by the Club over that period. The victory in Madrid was a wonderful reminder of the many high points we have experienced and adds to the moments that make Liverpool and its magnificent fans so special.
"It has been a privilege to serve the Club and as a lifelong supporter I wish the owners, Rafa, the players and the wonderful staff all the very best for the future. I will be leaving at the end of the season knowing that the Club remains strong and with a set of supporters who deserve success in all that Liverpool does."
Parry, a lifleong Liverpool fan who was born in Ellesmere Port, started his career as a trainee chartered accountant in 1976.
In the 1990s he left his post as a senior management consultant with accounting giants Ernst and Young to help with the planning and implementation of the Premier League. He was appointed its first Chief Executive in 1992.
He helped prepare the Manchester Olympic Bid in 1992 and was appointed to his dream job as Anfield Chief Executive in 1998 by then club chairman David Moores.
Parry was a leading architect of the club's Sale
of Liverpool to Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett two years ago this month, after negotiations with Dubai broke down in acrimony.
Before then tensions with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez had already begun to surface, and after a few months of American ownership Hicks publicly fell out with Anfield's widely respected Chief Executive.
In April last year Hicks, who with Gillett, has been at the centre of mass protests by Liverpool fans who want them out, labelled Parry 'a disaster' and said he wanted him sacked. However Gillett, who has been closely allied to Parry throughout, refused to sanction any dismissal as 50 per cent co-owner.
Benitez has also frequently struggled to disguise his frustrations over his relationship with Parry, criticising him over his handling of transfers.
Benitez has been demanding far more control at Anfield, including a greater role over the club's Academy in Kirkby during recent contract negotiations, which are as yet not concluded. THE LIVERPOOL ECHO