The Liverpool Women’s team was once the gold standard in the Women’s Super League, winning the domestic title in back to back years under Matt Beard. More recently, the team has been oft ignored by Fenway Sports group, frequently left bereft of resources.
The team churned through managers and players for a stretch of years, with more than a few early departures and rumblings of issues behind the scenes. When Liverpool were relegated from the WSL to the FA Women’s Championship two seasons ago, many fans wondered if the club leadership would finally take some action, or just be content to let the squad flounder in the second tier.
After failing to gain promotion after their first season in the Championship, the Liverpool brass finally seem to signal they were ready to take the Women’s team seriously. Matt Beard was brought back as manager, and the club signed a bevy of players from the WSL ranks.
Behind the scenes additional changes were brewing as well. Adam Greaves-Smith, who had served as the general manager for the club, left to pursue other opportunities in mid-August. Liverpool decided to restructure the position, calling it a Managing Director.
BBC journalist Emma Sanders is reporting that after a month-long search, Russ Fraser will be named to the new position. He is expected to be officially announced on Sunday, and will start his new role in November, according to Sanders.
I understand Leicester City's Russ Fraser is being lined up as the new managing director of Liverpool's women's team. He is currently head of women's football at Leicester.— Emma Sanders (@em_sandy) September 29, 2021
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Fraser will join Liverpool from Leicester City, who were promoted to the WSL ahead of the Reds last season. Fraser joined Leicester City just a year hence, and oversaw the transition of the independent semi-pro squad to a fully professional team under the Leicester City Football Club. He was reportedly an important player in getting the Women’s team to play at the King Power Stadium this season as well.
Prior to his time in the midlands, Fraser oversaw West Ham United, bringing the club from the third tier of the pyramid up to the WSL. He overlapped with Matt Beard with the Hammers for two seasons. The club reached the FA Cup final in 2018-19 during their first season together.
While not as exciting as a new player, Fraser’s appointment should give Liverpool fans hope due to his stellar track record. It should also give hope that Fenway Sports Group is taking the Women’s team seriously finally.