With Jurgen Klopp stepping down at the end of the season, the search for a new Liverpool manager has already begun, with two men being key to the process.
Once news of Klopp’s departure had sunk in, the first question on supporters’ minds was of who will be the next manager.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that the club would keep their cards close to their chest, but CEO Billy Hogan and some journalists have given us nuggets of information.
Once Klopp made his decision in November, director of research Will Spearman began his work, looking at “candidates across the globe” who “might fit the bill stylistically given Liverpool’s brand of football,” reported the Athletic.
The report added that “the active search starts now” and “at this stage, no approaches have been made to any candidates.”
It then goes on to name Xabi Alonso as a potential frontrunner for the job, as most people have presumed.
Central to Liverpool’s search, will be data and analytics, something CEO Billy Hogan mentioned at Jurgen Klopp‘s press conference.
Hogan said: “The way we operate as a football club is to ensure that we’ve looked at all the information, all the data, we’ve done our proper due diligence and then we’ll make a decision and we’ll have an announcement at that time.
“I understand the question, but I can’t commit to a timeline on it.”
— William Spearman (@the_spearman) June 1, 2019
Liverpool’s Director of Research, Spearman, leads the data department, who will have significant influence over the club’s choice of head coach.
Spearman is a Harvard graduate and has been with Liverpool since 2018, having previously held roles with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the sports analytics company, Hudl.
He took over the job of Director of Research in 2023, when the previous occupant, Ian Graham, left the club.
Hogan added that from the ownership side of things, Fenway Sports Group president “Mike Gordon in particular will be a part of that process” of appointing Klopp’s replacement.
Gordon has been the hands-on FSG chief most involved with the club, usually acting as the link between Merseyside and Boston.
Before Liverpool appoint a manager, though, the Reds reportedly want a new sporting director in place.
The current occupant of that role, Jorg Schamdtke, has been confirmed to be leaving at the end of the January transfer window.
A new sporting director could also have some influence over who is the next Liverpool manager, or it could already be decided. Only time will tell.