After serving Liverpool football club in a number of different capacities for the better part of ten years, current CEO Ian Ayre has announced that he’ll be leaving his post when his contract expires next summer — a decision the Merseyside local did not take lightly.
“If becoming chief executive of Liverpool Football Club was the greatest honour of my professional life, then deciding to step down at the end of my current contract is by far the most difficult,” read a statement on the club’s official website. “I believe the end of next season is the right time to pass the CEO baton on to a new person, who will take on the challenges and opportunities with a fresh enthusiasm and vigour,” he continued. “They will do so supported by what I believe to be the best ownership group in world sport and by a truly excellent team of staff throughout the football club.”
This news, of course, was met with highly varying results on social media with some sections of the Reds fanbase happy to get shot of Ayre and what they believe to be his highly ineffective strategies in the transfer market. The club, on the other hand, have confirmed that they tried both hook and crook to get him to stay on board.
“Ian advised us of his intention to step down as CEO a few months ago. We asked him on several occasions to take some time to reconsider his decision, but have been unable to convince him to remain as CEO beyond May 2017,” read a joint statement from principal Liverpool owner John W. Henry, chairman Tom Werner and acting president Mike Gordon. “Under his leadership, we have seen Liverpool transform from a club that was on the brink of bankruptcy, to one which today enjoys strong financial and operational health,” it said, harkening back to the poor financial state that Fenway Sports Group found the club in during their takeover. “It is typical of the person he is, once again, Ian is putting the club ahead of his own interest in wanting to announce his decision 15 months before he steps down. This now provides us with plenty of time and space to find a suitable successor.”