Michael Edwards has today been appointed as Liverpool Football Club's sporting director.
The 37-year-old is being promoted into a newly-created role as part of a restructuring of the football operations. Edwards will now lead the club’s overall football development, including player identification, acquisitions, sales and retention, as well as taking primary responsibility for reviewing and implementing improvements to the training ground environment and infrastructure.
The move has been welcomed by Jürgen Klopp, who has praised Edwards’ contribution and influence in helping to assemble the current playing set-up within the first team, development squad and Academy.
Ensuring the club remains an industry leader in providing a clear pathway from the younger age groups to the first-team squad is another key responsibility contained within the remit.
Commenting on behalf of Fenway Sports Group, FSG president and owner Mike Gordon said: “John, Tom and I are delighted Michael has accepted this new role. He is an extremely talented football executive who has demonstrated his exceptional value to the club. Both Jürgen and I know LFC will be stronger as a result of his appointment.
“When Jürgen was named manager, he was clear that the high quality of our playing squad was an important factor in his decision process; Michael has been integral to assembling the squad and we are confident he is ready to make this next step in his career.”
Edwards joined the club in November 2011, initially as head of analytics before he was subsequently promoted to director of technical performance and then, more recently, technical director.
Commenting on his new role, Edwards said: “I’ve been proud to be part of the football operations structure here at Liverpool and it’s a great honour to be asked to lead it going forward, in this new role of sporting director. We have a brilliant team of people who all make a huge contribution to the process of player transfers and retention, together with recruitment for the senior team, development squad and our Academy.
“Jürgen’s belief and confidence in what we have done is also welcomed and was a big factor in me making the decision to accept this position. It’s critical that we are always focused on development and improvement across all areas of the football operation. It’s an exciting challenge to be tasked with the responsibility of reviewing our practices and then implementing positive changes as and when they are needed. I know I’ll be supported by a brilliant group of people while doing this.”
Giving his reaction to the appointment, Klopp said: “This decision is hugely positive for us and it will make us better and stronger in managing the process of building and retaining playing talent at all age groups. Development is so important and it makes sense to have a position, within the football structure specifically, that focuses on where we can improve.
“It’s no secret I like the concept of a sporting director and having worked under this model previously I have found it to be nothing but positive and forward-thinking.
“Michael is absolutely the right person for this. He has the knowledge, expertise and personality to flourish in the role and I was delighted when he told me he would be accepting the position.
“Importantly, he also has a fantastic team of people around him, who have all played a significant role in putting together the talent we currently have in the first team, development squad and at even younger age levels.”