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Ian Ayre Discusses Increasing Youth Support at Anfield, Trolls United and Everton Fans

During an informal panel moderated by author John Green at the New York Men In Blazers convention, BlazerCon, Ian Ayre had some things to say about stadium expansion, increasing youth support, winning the league, and Manchester United fans.

Tom Shaw/Getty Images

If you're a fan of the podcast-cum-American television show-stars the Men In Blazers, you may be aware that they have capitalized on their fame in the US and created the first ever BlazerCon which is currently going on in New York. Among the predominantly American-based, football-adjacent guests set to appear was Liverpool FC chief executive officer, Ian Ayre.

Ayre spoke to well known Liverpool supporter and bestselling author John Green on a multitude of topics. Among those most of interest to Liverpool fans was how the club planned to give younger fans more opportunities to see games. About this topic, he said, "We have the enviable position of selling out every game but not having the route in to have a 12 or 13 year old come. Local supporters groups want to discriminate against travelling fans to get more Scousers back in Anfield. Stadium renovation could help.

"We’re one of the biggest football clubs in the world and we should look like we are."

Some suggestions he threw out to help this problem included bringing young kids in after kick-off to fill in empty seats.

Regarding the club's ethos he said, "Being a Liverpool fan is more than football, it’s about being part of a family."

The commercial side of the club is where Ayre specializes, and he expressed surprise that the club didn't try to capitalize more on their legendary Champions League victory in 2005 to garner more foreign fans. "I was surprised about how underdeveloped commercially and how little there was for foreign fans," he said. "LFC didn’t seize the opportunity of the ‘Phoenix rising from the ashes’ of Istanbul."

Then there was some poetic waxing about Istanbul being the best day of his life, but that his best Liverpool memory was "choosing them instead of Everton."

Discussing the prevalence of Manchester United fans in the United States, Ayre jokingly suggested convincing all of the male fans to "get vasectomies." Deal with that hot take, Ed Woodward.

Ayre was adamant that FSG and the club have winning the league as a top priority, even over competing in Europe at the moment. "European football is a secondary product for us," he said, citing the club's "burning ambition" to see Liverpool win he league again.

On a day marred with awful news coming out of France, a bit of levity was appreciated.

Whether Ayre ended the interview by climbing onto John Green's shoulders and giddy-upping off stage is, at time of writing, unknown but assumed.

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