Liverpool have finally ended their search for a new managing director by promoting from within, confirming former commercial director Ian Ayre has been appointed to the role.

Owners Fenway Sports Group, led by John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, have also made Damien Comolli the club's director of football - a step up from his position as director of football strategy.

Henry, who together with Werner has been on Merseyside since last Thursday, said: "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."

He added: "We conducted an extensive recruitment search and met with outstanding candidates who sought this role but in the end, after having worked with Ian and other top executives within the club, we realised that Ian had all of the attributes necessary to lead the club forward.

"Ian has been doing an outstanding job driving commercial revenues and has a proven track record in successfully leading and developing businesses in a number of different regions and sectors of importance to Liverpool FC.

"But importantly, Ian is also from Liverpool and understands the relationships between the club, the supporters and the city. He will play a key role in all of our future plans."


 

The search for a managing director has taken FSG longer than they had anticipated as when they began the hunt in December they hoped to have a man in position early in the new year. However, Ayre's appointment is recognition of the impressive work he has done on the commercial side since he joined the club in July 2007.

FSG brought Comolli to the club in November in order to bring some continuity to football operations.

"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," added Henry. "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.

"He has a track record of identifying young talent and has already made significant contributions to the first team and academy. Damien played a leading role in our January transfer window activity with the recruitment of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. These two additions will play a significant role in the future of the club."

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