Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre believes the recruitment of Jurgen Klopp proves the ambition of much-maligned club owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG).
FSG assumed control at Anfield in October 2010 but the club have managed just one League Cup success – won under Kenny Dalglish in 2012 – in the subsequent five years.
The appointment of Brendan Rodgers to succeed Dalglish in June 2012 drew criticism and, despite narrowly missing out on the Premier League title in 2014, the Ulsterman was duly sacked last Sunday following a 1-1 Merseyside derby draw at Everton.
But Ayre says the appointment of former Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp and the redevelopment of Anfield shows the owners’ commitment to the club.
He told LFC TV: “The ownership group have continued to show ambition, in the investment they made in the club initially, the investment they have made in the team, the continued support across the whole business and the new Main Stand. This is just another indication of that.
“When we set about looking for the right solution for a new manager, ambition was right at the top, and I would say Jurgen is right at the top of his game. So it fits well. His personality fits very much with this club, this city and our fans. That combination shows that the owners set an ambition to get their man and achieved it.”
Ayre is confident the charismatic German will reinvigorate Liverpool, adding: “When we set out to find a replacement for Brendan, it was important we found somebody that fitted the bill completely.
“We met as a group – the owners and myself – and talked about the attributes we would want in the next Liverpool manager and all of the ambition and things we want to achieve as a club. His name rose to the top in terms of the attributes he has and what we believe he can bring, and the sort of person he is. Having got all of those boxes ticked, it was then about getting Jurgen and I’m pleased to say we achieved that.
“His philosophies and culture, both as a person and a football person, mirror very much with Liverpool Football Club. I think that makes for a great marriage in many ways. Just like any relationship, it was important we felt and he felt there was a real connection – that was extremely evident when we met with him. It was so evident that he had that feeling and love and connection with Liverpool. That’ll bode well for the club and also for him in attaching himself and being part of a great club.”
And while he is confident Klopp will be a success at Anfield, Ayre urged patience despite the enormous expectation.
“Any plan has a period of preparation, a period of implementation, and that will all take time,” he added.
“But he comes here with his eyes wide open, he knows our squad, he’s talked about the players – he talked about certain players in that group that he tried to sign himself as a manager at times. So he’s very aware of the tools he has to work with at this stage and he’s very keen to get going.
“If we look at his philosophy and the way his teams play, of course that will take a little bit of time to instil. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later so that everybody sees it but we’re very pleased with his appointment, we’re very pleased with his objectives for the club and his ambitions, and I think the fans will be very excited to see it start to unfold.”
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