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Liverpool trying to poach Ajax chief working behind-the-scenes magic

Liverpool are among the clubs hoping to secure a coup off the pitch, with Ajax chief commercial officer (CCO) Menno Geelen subject to a headhunting pursuit.

The Reds have made great strides in terms of their commercial growth in recent years, but that has also come with a number of changes behind the scenes.

With Peter Moore stepping down from his role as chief executive officer (CEO) last year, Billy Hogan has assumed his duties, vacation his previous position as CCO and managing director.

Liverpool also saw commercial director Olly Dale leave the club in 2019, with his position later filled by Matt Scammell, who joined the Reds from Man United.

Andy Hughes is now serving as managing director, but it would seem that the role of CCO is yet to be officially filled, which is where Geelen comes in.

According to Dutch marketing consultant Chris Woerts, speaking to De Oranje Zomer as transcribed by VoetbalPrimeur, “a number of headhunters have approached him,” including those working for Liverpool.

“He has done a lot commercially but also provides a platform for the fans. That is now recognised in England,” Woerts explained.

He added that Geelen “says he is concentrating on Ajax, but headhunters are now looking to see if he wants to make a switch,” and “Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal could be possible.”

However, Woerts continues: “He’s only 39, so I don’t know if he wants it now. But it’s a nice reward if he makes the switch to the Premier League.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

From a Liverpool supporter’s perspective, the most important aspect when it comes to interest in Geelen would be his ability to “provide a platform for the fans.”

The club has struggled to reflect the values of their fans on a variety of occasions under the ownership of Fenway Sports Group, not least with the attempt at breaking away into the Super League.

FSG also spearheaded a drive to copyright the word ‘Liverpool’ for products and services, which was universally derided and fell through due to its “geographical significance.”

Moore, as a local-born, lifelong Liverpool fan, made advances in representing the feelings of those within the stands, but there were still issues raised with an almost robotic approach.

It cannot be ignored that the club has made a major step up in a commercial sense under FSG, particularly with securing funds to redevelop Anfield and the training ground at Kirkby, along with a lucrative kit deal with Nike.

And it would be interesting to see whether Geelen – who was named Sponsor Personality of the Year in the Netherlands – would be able to push that on if he is eventually brought in.

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