English Premiership

Liverpool CEO to step down in 2017

2016-03-14 21:59
Liverpool logo (File)

London - Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre announced on Monday that he will leave the Premier League club at the end of next season.

Ayre has been in the role since 2013, having previously been managing director and commercial director at Anfield.

The 52-year-old has decided to step down at the end of his contract in May 2017 due to the relentless demands of running a club of Liverpool's stature.

Ayre has often been seen as a divisive figure among fans who didn't believe he had the experience to lead Liverpool on a day to day basis.

He was also the target of supporters' anger during their recent ticket price protests, which ended with the club making an embarrassing climb-down over their price hike plan.

However, US-based owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) have been staunch supporters of Ayre, who helped pave the way for their 2010 takeover after voting against then owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, at a time when the club's financial situation was extremely unstable.

FSG tried to persuade Ayre, who is a lifelong Liverpool fan, to reverse his decision without success.

"Ian advised us of his intention to step down as CEO a few months ago," said a joint statement from FSG principal owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon.

"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 of 2017.

"We will at some point in the near future begin identifying and recruiting a worthy successor to continue to build on the outstanding foundations which have been laid by Ian.

"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."

Ayre admitted the decision to walk away from Liverpool was the most difficult he had ever had to make.

"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," he said.

"Having the privilege to lead this great club comes with huge responsibility and challenge but one which I have relished and I feel proud of my achievements in the role.

"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.

"Having been brought up in the shadow of Anfield, I have found it the most profound privilege to serve the club I have supported all my life.

"The driving principle behind every decision I have taken during my time here has been to do the best for the long-term stability and health of this great football club."

Read more on:    liverpool  |  english premiership  |  ian ayre  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 31 March 2018
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 13:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Burnley, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v AFC Bournemouth, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 18:30
Sunday, 01 April 2018
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Saturday, 07 April 2018
Everton v Liverpool, Goodison Park 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.