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BERLIN, GERMANY - Saturday, July 29, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp chats with owner John W. Henry before a preseason friendly match celebrating 125 years of football for Liverpool and Hertha BSC Berlin at the Olympic Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have 3 key staff roles to fill as part of major backroom overhaul

While Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group weigh up whether to sell the club, there are three key positions that need to be filled off the pitch.

For so long, Liverpool seemed a watertight operation; a model for clubs around the world for how to build for self-sustained success.

But that is unravelling rapidly, with FSG courting offers and a number of senior staff members tendering their resignations.

So whether that is for the current owners or new investors to conduct, there is an overhaul required in the backroom, including two departing figures from the recruitment staff.

Sporting director Julian Ward is set to leave the club at the end of the season, which will have been his only full campaign in the role, and he is being followed by director of research Ian Graham.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 9, 2022: Liverpool's Julian Ward during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ward, who succeeded Michael Edwards, acts as the figurehead for Liverpool’s transfer negotiations, and was central to deals for Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz, among others.

Meanwhile, Graham has built the club’s data science department since his arrival in 2012, which has been key to a measured recruitment model that not only identifies players but also the manager himself.

Liverpool could look to promote from within for both roles, with head of recruitment Dave Fallows a possible candidate to take over from Ward and lead data scientist William Spearman a potential successor to Graham.

But at this stage it seems more likely that new faces are brought in, as will be the case when it comes to the long-vacant club doctor role.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Liverpool’s medical staff wear face masks during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The club announced the sudden and immediate exit of Dr Jim Moxon on the eve of the Premier League campaign, with his decision to leave a shock given he had been heavily involved as recent as pre-season.

Since then, Moxon’s duties have been shared by GP Sarah Lindsay and head of academy medical Bevin McCartan, but according to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, Liverpool are “close to making an external appointment.”

Interestingly, Ward himself is said to have been “overseeing the interview process,” with the club hierarchy assured he will remain committed until the end of his time at Anfield.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 12, 2017: Liverpool's Director Michael Gordon during the FA Premier League match against Burnley at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There has also been a seismic change above Ward, with FSG president Mike Gordon stepping back from his day-to-day duties in running the club, as he focuses on locating a potential buyer.

Unlike Ward, Graham and Moxon, there is not likely to be a replacement brought in for Gordon, whose role is now being filled by chief executive Billy Hogan.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of stability within the framework of Liverpool at present, and there is no ruling out further resignations in the near future.

The sooner these appointments can be made, the better.