Saturday 24 August 2019

Liverpool chief Ian Ayre: Klopp has final say on transfers and denies Van Gaal link

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Tom Rooney

Liverpool Chief Executive Ian Ayre has said that it is the club manager, be it Brendan Rodgers or Jurgen Klopp, who ultimately decides what players are signed.

Speaking at Web Summit in the RDS, Ayre claimed that stories regarding the influence of Liverpool’s six-member transfer committee have been greatly distorted.

Ayre contends that in reality, it is merely an advisory group to facilitate the club’s manager in acquiring the best talent possible.

He was adamant, however, the final say lies with manager, as it always has during his near-decade stint at the club he supported as a boy.

Ex-boss Brendan Rodgers had previously intimated that the committee had, on occasion, gone over his head in purchasing certain players he may not have wanted.

During Rodgers' reign Liverpool bought 32 players to the tune of nearly £300m, many of which were considered failures.

Ayre denied Rodgers was ever undermined in the transfer process and revealed that Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal was never considered for a director of football position at Anfield.

“That wasn’t the case (on Van Gaal), said Ayre. “The word transfer committee got used once and became this idea that we all sit around the table and have a vote on every player we sign, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“There’s only one person who has the final say on players at Liverpool FC, and right now that’s Jurgen Klopp; that’s always been the case. Certainly all the time I’ve been at the club.

“Brendan had the final say on all the players we signed. The point that’s being made when we say committee, and I don’t think we do anything differently to most football clubs, the manger will say ‘I want to look for somebody in this position.’

“We have a bunch of different people, and that’s a mix of traditional scouting that everyone’s aware of, and more recently, more analytical and more digital-based information.

“We bring all of that together, and we’ll look at best three or four players in that position, we’ll show it to the manager, who’ll either go watch or have the scouts go watch those players, then we’ll narrow it down.

“And, I’ll become more involved, talking to clubs, agents and players on the negotiation basis of the deal, and then the manager will choose.

“That’s never changed; I’ve been at the club eight years, and the committee is the collaboration of all those people who contribute to allowing the manger making that decision, and actually I think that’s very smart,” he said.

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