Liverpool to implement sporting director structure with Michael Edwards set to be appointed

Liverpool to implement sporting director structure with Michael Edwards set to be appointed

Liverpool are promoting technical director Michael Edwards to become the club's sporting director to assist manager Jürgen Klopp to assume control of footballing operations and player recruitment for the first-team and the Academy.

Charlie Malam

Liverpool are set to create restructure their player recruitment strategy with Michael Edwards to be appointed sporting director.

The relatively little-known 37-year-old currently holds the position of technical director at the club, but will be promoted - largely in reward for his work - by owners Fenway Sports Group.

The American owners have long desired to create the role within the club, but were unable under former manager Brendan Rodgers who refused to work under a director of football, instead declaring that he would only have full control.

But Jürgen Klopp has given his full backing to FSG's decision, calling it the logical next step in the process, having worked under a similar structure with Michael Zorc at Borussia Dortmund.

Edwards to play important role in player recruitment

Edwards has been at Anfield since 2011, when he joined from Tottenham Hotspur having previously worked as a Prozone analyst at Portsmouth. He is little-known on Merseyside having kept out of the public eye, although he is based at the club's Melwood training ground.

He has already carried the roles of head of performance and analysis at Liverpool, before becoming the Reds' director of technical performance and then technical director.

Edwards is said to have played an increasingly important role in the club's transfer deals recently, in both identifying players and assisting in negotiations. He helped to push through the £29 million deal for Roberto Firmino in the summer of 2015.

With CEO Ian Ayre stepping down this coming summer - and the club continuing their search for a new CEO to succeed Ayre - Edwards will take on greater responsibility for the club's medical and player liaison departments.

In fact, although Ayre doesn't leave until the summer, Edwards will immediately take control of transfer and contract negotiations - while Klopp will retain the final say on all signings - with the manager uninterested in being involved in that side of things.

It is thought Edwards assuming such duties will help to make Klopp's job easier, with the Reds boss' concentration to then be focused just on working with his players and his backroom staff. 

Klopp's approval a major motivation, admits Edwards 

Edwards declared that he's "been proud to be part of the football operations structur at Liverpool" and called it a "great honour" to "be asked to lead it going forward in this new role of sporting director."

He added that they "have a brilliant team of people" at the club who "all make a huge contribution to the process of player transfers and retention" and with "recruitment for the senior team, development squad and our academy."

Edwards also hailed Klopp's "belief and confidence" in the process, saying it was "welcomed" and was "a big factor" in helping him make 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," he continued.

Citing his new role and being tasked "with the responsibility of reviewing our practices" and afterwards "implementing positive changes as and when they are needed" as an "exciting challenge", he also said that he will be "supported by a brilliant group of people."