Almost a year after Jürgen Klopp arrived on English shores from Germany to manage the Reds, long-time Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre has declared that he will be heading the other way next summer to take up the General Manager role at TSV 1860 Munich. Jordanian businessman Hasan Ismaik, now majority owner of the club, has recruited the Liverpool official as part of the project to take the 2. Bundesliga side up to the first division.
Speaking to German newspaper Munchner Merkur, Ismaik lauded the Liverpool official’s signing, “We want to get the best people to help us. [Club President] Peter Cassalette and I have led the conversations with him. He is the right person for our future.”
“The fact that we were able to convince such a big name to come from a world association to 1860, we are proud. That was not easy. When he found out about the tradition of the club, he was very enthusiastic.”
A boyhood Liverpool fan, Ayre announced his departure earlier this year, declining to renegotiate an extension on a contract due to expire in 2017. Hired by FSG’s previous incarnation, NESV in 2007 as LFC’s commercial director, he eventually earned a promotion to managing director in 2011 and finally chief executive in 2013. Speaking back in March, Ayre outlined the rationale behind his decision to step down:
"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," Ayre said, beginning a long goodbye that will last for 15 good months.
"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.
"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. 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. In the remaining 15 months I have as CEO, I will continue to provide FSG, Jürgen, the players and all the brilliant staff at Liverpool ongoing strategic leadership and a smooth transition."