Liverpool bigwig confirms he is leaving club early: This is how he will be replaced

IAN AYRE will leave Liverpool at the end of the month as Liverpool reshuffle their management structure.

The Kop chief executive was planning on leaving Anfield in the summer but all have agreed to make the transition now.

Ayre, who has spent a decade at Liverpool, and club owners Fenway Sports Group have cleared the way for his successor so the decision was made to speed up the move.

He is to become sporting director at 1860 Munich but will take a break from football before starting with the Bundesliga 2 club.

Liverpool are closing in on Ayre’s replacement, but the new appointment will work differently in the role than him because of the restructure.

Michael Edwards was recently appointed as sporting director with the responsibility of negotiating transfers, a task Ayre previously played a major role in.

It means his successor’s role will not have the same emphasis on the football side of the business.

The chief commercial officer, Billy Hogan, is now managing director and chief commercial officer. Andy Hughes has been promoted from chief financial officer to chief operating officer.

Ayre was initially Liverpool’s commercial director under the near-ruinous ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett before being promoted by FSG.

He said: “When I came here in 2007 I set myself three objectives. One was turning the business around, another was to find some kind of solution to the stadium and thirdly was to see the club back at the top end of football.

“In my mind, I’ve achieved those things. The business is in a fantastic shape in all elements. The main stand is in place and then the football – the arrival of Jurgen [Klopp], the solidifying of the squad.

“You can’t sit here and wait for the squad to be perfect because you’d be here forever wouldn’t you? I felt I’d done the hardest parts and the biggest parts that I can do here.

“I felt it was less challenging by then and time to give somebody else an opportunity.”

FSG president Mike Gordon said: “On behalf of John [Henry] and Tom [Werner] I would like to place on record the outstanding contribution Ian has made to Liverpool football club over the past ten years.

“It goes without saying that his leadership of Liverpool has been instrumental to the club’s progress under our ownership. On both a professional and personal level, he will be missed.”

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