The Liverpool FC transfer committee explained

With players linked to Liverpool on a daily basis throughout the summer, we now often hear of the “transfer committee” at the club, something that managing director Ian Ayre explained recently.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, June 1, 2012: Liverpool's new manager Brendan Rodgers next to managing director Ian Ayre (L) and chairman Tom Werner (R) during a photocall to announce him as the new manager of Liverpool Football Club at Anfield. (Pic by Chris Brunskill/Propaganda)

Since the departure of former director of football Damien Comolli in April 2012 and the subsequent appointment of Brendan Rodgers as manager that summer, Liverpool have reshaped their structure and taken a collective approach to the purchasing of players – and also wage structure.

Ayre explained in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine earlier this year:

“We have a head of analysis, a head of recruitment, a first-team manager, myself. All of those people are all inputting into a process that delivers what a director of football would deliver.”

Quite simply, Ayre describes the committee and the process as “a combination of old-school scouting and watching players — and that’s Brendan, his assistants, our scouts — with statistical analysis of players across Europe and the rest of the world.”

“By bringing those two processes together, you get a much more educated view of who you should and shouldn’t be buying.”

“What we believe, and we continue to follow, is you need many people involved in the process.”

So, who are the people involved in the process?

Brendan Rodgers

First Team Manager

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Monday, July 22, 2013: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference at the Grant Hyatt Hotel ahead of their preseason friendly against Melbourne Victory. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As Ayre explained in the Sports Illustrated interview, “He [Rodgers] has a team of people that go out and do an inordinate amount of analysis work to establish who are the best players in that position. It’s a combination of things.”

So, Rodgers briefs his team on the positions to fill, the scouting team then provide recommendations and the committee collectively value the player accordingly, in terms of value and also wages.

In an interview in March Rodgers explained his vision for the squad was to have “two players in every outfield position and your three goalkeepers. Then below that having young players who can support that.”

Dave Fallows

Head of Recruitment

Fallows, along with chief scout Barry Hunter, joined Liverpool from Manchester City in September 2012, having been approached prior to Brendan Rodgers’ arrival. They were placed on ‘gardening leave’ by City and thus could not officially work for Liverpool in last summer’s transfer window.

Rodgers said of Fallows, and Hunter:

“They were appointments I was fully aware of. I’ve known Barry for a long time and Dave also. Dave was already in the offing to come here. From Dave’s position, he would only accept the job if someone like myself was coming in.”

The appointment of the two was described as a “major coup” by The Liverpool Echo.

Fallows was a key part of City’s staff where his role as “Football Scouting and Recruitment Coordinator” involved assigning scouts, filtering reports, preparing recommendations and presentations on the club’s targets, and compiling a database of scouted players. Seemingly his role at Liverpool is of a similar nature.

Michael Edwards

Head of Performance and Analysis

Edwards is the least well-known of the committee. He was appointed at the club by Damien Comolli having worked alongside the Frenchman at Tottenham where he was head of performance analysis. His role with Liverpool changed from “Head of Analytics” to “Head of Performance and Analysis” when Fallows and Hunter, and thus the committee structure, was put in place last year.

Edwards graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2002 in Business Management and Informatics.

Ian Ayre

Managing Director

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Friday, July 26, 2013: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference at the Plaza Athenee Hotel ahead of their preseason friendly match against Thailand. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ayre, born locally in Liverpool, was head-hunted by former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. He was appointed commercial director in 2007 where he was responsible for the impressive financial deal with Standard Chartered most notably.

Ayre has previously been chairman of Huddersfield Town FC and was promoted to managing director in March 2011 as Fenway Sports Group began their restructuring process.

While some sections of the supporters have criticisms of Ayre, since his promotion Liverpool have shown some impressive financial deals and negotiating – £8.5m for Coutinho, nice work.

Read our article on LFC scouts here

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  • Gray

    Rather have this setup than a DOF. Its reckless to trust on one mans judgement (Comolli in our case). Would much prefer having a group of talent spotters who see the same things as each other to make a stronger judgement on a player. Just hope they bring in quality like Coutihno and Sturridge.

    • http://www.thisisanfield.com This Is Anfield

      Completely agree.

  • http://st1jere.blogspot.com Sam Wanjere

    Good read. My continued faith in LFCs rebuilding process continues.

  • John Edwards

    have any of them actually played football? i like the committee idea but i’d rather see names like Steve Heighway & Roy Evans on it

  • John Edwards

    Heighway never stopped being productive he was forced out when Rafa wanted to fill the backroom positions with his friends from Spain. What does your second point mean? Jose was never a footballer but Wenger played and so did old purple nose (he was a dirty center forward for Rangers who broke a few defenders jaws in his time)

  • Gray

    Youre joking arent you? If he suggested all of these players why did he go out and buy donkey Carroll? He was the director of football, he negotiated the deals, he was in charge of identifying the players and signing them. Moussa Sissoko has done nothing at Newcastle, Payet, Matuidi? second rate. Götze would never have been sold, Aubameyang has had one good season.

  • John Edwards

    you cant compare Heighways youth development and Rafas, how many greats came through that Rafa bought and developed? Sterling/Suso/Kelly maybe? SW found and developed Gerrard/Carra/Fowler/Owen/Mcmanaman how much would that lot be worth to LFC? not to mention others like Mateo who we got £4 million for and little David Thompson who went for £2 miilion

    • Multi

      Post Owen who came through to do anything in our first team or any other team? Look at the stature of LFC under Rafa (pre H&J’s damage), when we were feared in Europe and taken a little more seriously in Europe; I think I’d trust Rafa’s judgement on players that were able and ready to move into 1st team football.

      • John Edwards

        post Owen Heighway wasnt there, do you think we were feared in Europe because of Rafa? did nothing ever happen before Istanbul? maybe i dreamed that night in Rome in 77, Barneys goal in Paris and Bruces spaggetti legs, as for Rafa he was great at setting a team up to win a one off match but some of his transfers missed the mark, he would rather have Gareth Barry than Xabi Alonso, Robbie Keane bought then sold for half price 6 months later

        • Multi

          Haha! You’re being churlish, I meant recent PL era. Aside from that amazing Uefa cup there wasn’t much. Having the highest coefficient for approx 4 years must have counted for something?