Less than a week after seeing through New England Sports Venture’s £300million purchase of Liverpool Football Club, Managing Director Christian Purslow has stepped down from the role.
A club statement reads: ‘”Liverpool FC confirms that following the successful sale of the club, Christian Purslow has decided to stand down from his temporary position as managing director. Christian will remain as a non-executive director and will act as a special adviser to the new owners.”
Purslow was appointed by former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett in June 2009 following the resignation of Chief Executive Rick Parry.
In September 2009, Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre secured a record £80m shirt sponsorship deal with banking giants Standard Chartered.
Purslow explained his decision today saying, “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.”
The news coincidently comes just the day after former boss Rafa Benitez launched an attack on Purslow, and his appointment by the former owners.
Benitez said, “After 86 points and finishing second in the league, what changed? The Americans, they chose a new managing director and everything changed. So, what changed? The managing director is involved in all the decisions: new lawyer, new chief of press, new manager, nine new players, new medical staff, new fitness coaches – they changed everything.”
Many supporters feel Purslow was a key part of Benitez leaving the club this summer.
Chairman Martin Broughton will also soon be leaving the club to take up a role as chair in private equity investment group targeting investment in specialist sports projects. Broughton was appointed temporary chairman in order to oversee the sale of the Club and will leave after a short transitional period.
It has also been reported that NESV have turned down commercial director Ian Ayre’s offer to resign from his role at the Club. Ayre has been widely praised for his work at the Club and NESV are keen to keep him at Anfield while they build their own team of staff.