By Nick Harris
20 October 2010
The restructuring of Liverpool’s management team – in the widest sense – has begun in with the announcement that managing director Christian Purslow is to step down from his role, becoming a non-executive director instead, as well as special advisor to the new owners, NESV, for an indeterminate period.
New England Sports Ventures chairman, Tom Werner, said: “We are delighted Christian has accepted our offer to help us and the club, given his great experience and love for Liverpool FC. We will now begin a global search process for a Chief Executive Officer.”
The scope of that search has yet to be made public; NESV has plenty of executives in-house who should be willing and able to assume the role of CEO, including long-time Liverpool fan and NESV employee, Joe Januszewski. (An interview with JJ and his role in NESV buying the club can be found behind Liverpool’s website paywall here; while a flavour of that can be found in recent reports here). It could be that NESV want to see if other top-rank candidates with relevant experience of “growing a brand globally” are out there and interested.
Confirmation of Purslow stepping down is expected to be followed in the very near future by official confirmation that Martin Broughton is leaving his post as club chairman. It is common knowledge Broughton is leaving – and will become chairman of a new sports investment firm run by his son – but no official announcement has yet been made.
As for Liverpool’s team manager, Roy Hodgson, there are no plans to offload him imminently, sportingintelligence understands, although of course the club will keep a “watching brief” on results. The situation could change quickly, particularly the closer the transfer window gets if results don’t improve.
But for now NESV are minded to stick by the unequivocal statements by Tom Werner about Hodgson as recently as last Sunday, when Werner said: “He needs to be given time. We have a lot of confidence in Roy . . . I think that the one prescription for disaster is to lurch to the left and lurch to the right and we see no reason why Roy can’t be our coach this year and in the future. But we’re certainly going to give him time.”
Purslow, meanwhile, said today: “I came to LFC to lead the Club through a sale process to get the best overall deal including, vitally, the removal of the debt. I am immensely proud of what we have all achieved. I now look forward to assisting the owners in any way I can at this exciting time as they drive the club forward to a bright future.”