Ian Ayre has announced he will resign from his role as our chief executive in May 2017.
The 52-year-old reportedly made his decision despite pleas from FSG to reconsider (via Echo).
“It’s probably the most difficult decision I’ve made, certainly in my professional career,” said Ayre.
“It was a difficult decision to come here because I knew the size of the task here at Liverpool and it’s an even more difficult decision to make in leaving.
“But if you care about the club – which I do – and you have so much invested in the club, not just having worked here but through your family and your time as a supporter, then you need to do what you feel is right for the club as well as yourself.
“I feel the timing and the level of commitment that is required, this is the right time and I hope that people see that given the sort of notice I have given to the owners is a mark of respect to them and to the football club.”
Ayre joined us in 2007 as Commercial Director after being headhunted by Hicks and Gillett. He was promoted to chief executive in March 2011 after Christian Purslow stood down and FSG won control of the club.
He has helped oversee terrific growth in commercial side of the club, but has increasingly come under criticism from some fans for his creation of the infamous “transfer committee”.
He was also considered a key driver behind the bungled ticket price increase in January, which ultimately saw a mass walkout during the home game against Sunderland.
Ayre is a lifelong Liverpool fan having being born and raised in the city.
“Having been brought up in the shadow of Anfield, I have found it the most profound privilege to serve the club I have supported all my life,” he continued.
“The driving principle behind every decision I have taken during my time here has been to do the best for the long term stability and health of this great football club.
“In the remaining 15 months I have as CEO, I will continue to provide FSG, Jurgen, the players and all the brilliant staff at Liverpool on going strategic leadership and a smooth transition.
“One thing that has been created here absolutely in my time is stability and I think in order to maintain stability throughout an announcement like this, to change a senior executive position like the CEO position, is to give as much time as possible for the club and the owners to find the best solution to maintain that long term stability for the club.”
It is thought he many still with the club in another capacity. When asked, he replied “Who knows? We’ll see what comes through the process.”
What does this mean for the future of the transfer committee? And who could we bring in to replace him? Let us know your thoughts on the sensational news in the comments below.