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Liverpool appoint Ian Ayre as new managing director

Ian Ayre
Liverpudlian Ayre has been an Anfield employee since July 2007

Liverpool's owner Fenway Sports Group (FSG) has promoted from within by appointing the club's former commercial director Ian Ayre as managing director.

The role has been vacant since Christian Purslow stood down after the club's October sale to FSG's parent company New England Sports Ventures.

"I've a deep understanding of what this special club means," said Ayre.

Damien Comolli has been made director of football, a step up from his role as director of football strategy.

FSG, led by John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner, began their search for a new managing director in December, and after "an extensive recruitment search", have settled on an internal candidate.

"Ian has enormous experience gained from his work in the sports and media businesses over the past 15 years and we are delighted to announce this significant appointment," said Henry of Ayre, who at one time was chairman and chief executive of Huddersfield Town.

"But importantly, Ian is also from Liverpool and understands the relationships between the club, the supporters and the city."

Ayre added: "I've gained a thorough understanding of the challenges facing the club. We have been through some difficult times, but we find ourselves today with a great team of people all working together for the same goal."

Former Tottenham director of football Comolli was brought in by Henry in November in the wake of the American's £300m purchase of Liverpool.

In the short time that Damien [Comolli] has been at the club, he has impressed us greatly with his knowledge of the sport, his work ethic and his incisive intelligence

Liverpool owner John W Henry

Comolli, who has overseen the purchase of Andy Carroll from Newcastle for £30m and Luis Suarez from Ajax for £23m, commented: "It has been an exciting five months and I think all of us recognise that we have made a great deal of progress in many different areas.

"However, there is a lot of hard work ahead and with the backing of our owners and their commitment to the club, I'm confident we will get it right."

Henry added: "In the short time that Damien has been at the club, he has impressed us greatly with his knowledge of the sport, his work ethic and his incisive intelligence.

"He is a clear thinker and understands exactly what is needed to form a long-term, consistent approach with the philosophy we all share here."

The only major appointment now outstanding is that of manager. Since Kenny Dalglish took over in an interim capacity following Roy Hodgson's departure on 8 January he has steered the team from the lower reaches of the Premier League table to sixth position.

It has led to speculation that Dalglish, 60, who was manager between 1985 and 1991, will be offered a permanent deal this summer.

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see also
Purslow completes Liverpool exit
24 Feb 11 |  Liverpool
Dalglish 'honoured' to take reins
10 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Hodgson goes as Dalglish steps in
08 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Purslow quits position at Anfield
20 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool unveil new striker duo
03 Feb 11 |  Front Page
Carroll seals switch to Liverpool
31 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Comolli takes Liverpool position
03 Nov 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool owner to spend 'wisely'
18 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Henry pledges to revive Liverpool
16 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Who is Liverpool's new owner?
15 Oct 10 |  US & Canada
NESV completes Liverpool takeover
15 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool name managing director
22 Jun 09 |  Liverpool

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