The motorcycle. The picture with Robbie Fowler, high atop God’s shoulders, arms raised like some wild, angelic cowboy. Ian Ayre, a suit, a Liverpool executive, has brought us far more delight than we would have expected of a money man. As the club’s transfer negotiator, he’s a mixed bag, for some. And I get that. It hasn’t been all leather jackets and wild nights across the globe. But, the man has served the club honorably through a mighty rough patch, ushering in FSG, Standard Chartered, bringing money and business into Anfield, setting Liverpool up to compete on the global scale of the big earners.
Today, it is being reported that Ayre will leave his post at the end of February to begin the transition to his new job at 1860 Munich. The move has been in the works since last spring and Liverpool have the people in place to cover Ian’s duties in the immediate absence of a CEO. But, for now, for president Mike Gordon, it’s a time to show respect to a loyal servant of Liverpool.
“Although this transition has been nearly a year in the making,” said Gordon, “today is still a difficult day. We are officially saying goodbye to Ian.
“On behalf of John and Tom, I would like to place on record the outstanding contribution Ian has made to Liverpool Football Club over the past ten years. It goes without saying that his leadership of LFC has been instrumental to the club’s progress under our ownership.”
As noted, Ian Ayre has lead the club through thick and thin, making the club stronger financially in the process. He hasn’t always done what fans would have wanted but, as far as anyone can tell, he’s always acted towards a positive gain for the club. And he’s proud as punch about it.
“There is no greater professional satisfaction for me,” said Ayre, “than to leave Liverpool Football Club in much improved health throughout than when I joined the club in 2007.
“This has always been more than a job for me because of the emotional connection I have with the place. So, the only yardstick that has ever mattered, for every decision I have taken here, is whether or not it is in the best interests of Liverpool Football Club.
“As the club’s structure starts to unfold, this is a natural point for me to say goodbye to the role of chief executive and to many friends, but my love and support for this great football club will continue as it has my whole life.”
FSG are expected to announce Ian’s successor this coming summer at the latest.