Paisley added 10% to persuade Celtic to sell Kenny Dalglish

Dalglish signs his Liverpool contract on 10th of August 1977.

Liverpool had just won the European cup in a 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach but the Reds needed to replace Kevin Keegan, who was leaving for Hamburg SV. Paisley later told Kenny that it wouldn't have mattered if Liverpool hadn't sold Keegan to Germany, Paisley would have still tried to sign Kenny. Manchester United offered Celtic more money for Dalglish, but he had set his heart on Anfield. Bob Paisley had contacted Jock Stein a year earlier when he heard that Dalglish wanted to leave for England, but Stein had said that he was going nowhere. Stein added that Paisley would be the first he would contact, if he couldn’t talk Dalglish out of leaving Celtic. Stein kept his promise even though he was disappointed to be losing a player of this calibre.

Liverpool and Celtic sat down to discuss the deal. Liverpool initially offered 300,000 pounds, Celtic refused, but John Smith, Liverpool's chairman and Bob Paisley were prepared. They were ready to add 10% until they reached 400,000. That was to be their final offer. In the end Liverpool's offer had reached 400,000 after Stein had refused the offer of both 330,000 and 360,000. Stein still refused, but added that if Liverpool were to offer 10% more they would reach an agreement. Smith looked at Paisley and that was all he needed to do, Smith nodded his head and Liverpool agreed to offer 440,000 pounds which was then the record transfer fee between two British clubs. Dalglish was called for a meeting in the boardroom at Celtic Park.

This is how it looked from Kenny's perspective:

"Bob told John Smith he wanted me. Liverpool had such a simple way of handling transfers. Old Bob would just pick the players he wanted to bring to Anfield and John Smith and Peter Robinson would sort out the deals. They were brilliant at deals. So I walked into the boardroom to meet my next employers. Bob was there as well because new players like to talk to the person who is going to be looking after them. They informed me that the two clubs had agreed a fee. We talked for a couple of minutes. After two years of wanting a move, it was all happening in minutes."

Bill Shankly couldn’t believe his ears when he heard that Celtic had allowed Dalglish to leave. "I understand that like Kevin Keegan, Dalglish wants to get on but I would have moved heaven and earth to keep him. I would rather have quit and got out of the game altogether than sold a player of his brilliance."

The "fans" went wild in front of the Kop when Dalglish ventured out unto the hallowed Anfield turf.

Dalglish's love affair with Liverpool and its fans is unprecedented and from day one it was evident: "My Anfield debut came against Newcastle, who counted Tommy Craig, amongst their number. I had grown up with Wee Tam, playing Glasgow Schools, Scottish Schools and Scottish Youth with him. Before kick-off, I found Tam looking up at the sign that declares "This Is Anfield". "How are you?", he asked. "I'm all right, I think", I told Tam, "but you see that sign there? It's supposed to frighten the opposition. I'm terrified by it and it's my home ground."

Fortunately the game worked out well. Just after half-time, Ray Kennedy started wandering off down the inside left. I raced towards the box. Ray's pass came in and I clipped the ball past Newcastle's keeper, Steve Hardwick, as he came out. The goal was at the Kop end and I nearly finished up in amongst them. Their appreciation was magnificent. It really touched me. That was the start of the relationship between the Kop and me. It was a special relationship, hard to articulate how strong the bond was. We would share great success in England and Europe."

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