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Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Damien Comolli takes Liverpool position


Comolli 'will benefit' Liverpool - Hodgson

By Dan Roan
BBC sports news correspondent

Liverpool have appointed ex-Tottenham director of football Damien Comolli as their director of football strategy.

The 38-year-old Frenchman was sacked by Spurs in October 2008 after three years at the club and later joined French outfit St Etienne as sporting director.

He will begin work with Reds owner John Henry and boss Roy Hodgson immediately.

"I am delighted to be joining Liverpool and look forward to working with John and Roy," said Comolli, who also spent seven seasons as a scout at Arsenal.

"I think we all realise there is a big job ahead, but we all share the vision that John has for rebuilding the club and bringing back the success that the supporters deserve."

Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League last season, missing out on a place in the Champions League for the first time since 2003.

Damien Comollii
Comolli was sacked by Tottenham in 2008 after three years at the club

The debt-ridden club sacked Rafael Benitez as manager in June and replaced him with Hodgson but the former Fulham boss endured a difficult start to life at Anfield.

His side were knocked out of the Carling Cup by Northampton, won only one of the first eight Premier League matches and were in the relegation zone until Sunday's late victory at Bolton.

Meanwhile, the club endured a turbulent takeover saga which finally ended in October when New England Sports Ventures (NESV), who Henry heads, completed a £300m buyout.

Hodgson has been critical of the squad he inherited from Benitez and suggested he will work closely with Comolli and Henry to improve the calibre of players at his disposal in both the short and long-term future.

"I am looking forward to working with Damien whom I have known for many years," said Hodgson, who has worked with directors of football in previous jobs outside England but sanctioned the departure of Les Reed from the same role shortly after taking control at Fulham in 2007.

Damien has a proven track-record of identifying exciting young footballing talent and we are delighted that he has agreed to join Liverpool

John Henry

"We are engaged in an exciting project here and he will bring a lot to the table. We all want to see moves to strengthen the squad and support player development over the next few years.

"John Henry and I are totally united in delivering on that ambition."

Henry has spoken of his desire to strengthen the Liverpool squad but he seems keen to overhaul many aspects of the club and indicated that Comolli's appointment could be the first of several.

"Today's announcement is just the first step in creating a leadership group and structure designed to develop, enhance and implement our long-term philosophy of scouting, recruitment, player development and all of the other aspects necessary to build and sustain a club able to consistently compete at the highest level in European football," explained Henry.

"Damien has a proven track-record of identifying exciting young footballing talent and we are delighted that he has agreed to join Liverpool.


"Working closely with Roy Hodgson and the coaching staff, I know he will make a valuable contribution to strengthening the club and the squad as we move forward.

"We intend to be bold and innovative. We will not rest until we have restored Liverpool Football Club to the greatness Liverpool fans expect."

After a modest playing career in which he represented Monaco's youth team, Comolli gained his French coaching licence and then worked at the club under then manager Arsene Wenger.

When Wenger took over at Arsenal in 1996 he employed Comolli as his European scout.

He received credit for the signings of Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Gael Clichy and enjoyed a stint as St Etienne's technical director before succeeding Frank Arnesen at Tottenham.

Martin Jol was Spurs manager at the time and, after he was sacked in 2007, the Dutchman complained that Comolli had recruited a number of players without his consent.

Many of Comolli's signings - including the likes of Gareth Bale, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Heurelho Gomes - raised eyebrows and he was dismissed along with Juande Ramos and his coaching staff after Spurs made a dreadful start to the 2008-09 Premier League season.

He returned to St Etienne in November 2008 and oversaw two disappointing campaigns, but they have made a fine start to this season and he departs with the club fourth in the Ligue One table.

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see also
Benitez hits back at Hodgson jibe
01 Nov 10 |  Europe
Bolton 0-1 Liverpool
31 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Henry pledges to revive Liverpool
16 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Hodgson named new Liverpool boss
01 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Comolli makes St Etienne return
10 Nov 08 |  Europe
Bale earning his Spurs
03 Nov 10 |  Tottenham
Tottenham sack Ramos for Redknapp
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Comolli replaces Arnesen at Spurs
08 Sep 05 |  Tottenham

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