LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 16, 2022: Liverpool's Sporting Director Julian Ward during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Julian Ward role explained as transfer chief convinced to return

Two years after leaving his post as Liverpool’s sporting director, Julian Ward has been convinced to return – but this time with a wider remit under owners FSG.

Friday saw the news break that the owners were not finished assembling their new structure, with the band back together after Michael Edwards convinced Ward to start in a new role.

Ward, who left Liverpool in 2023, has now joined FSG as technical director after being “convinced,” in the words of the Athletic, to return after taking a break from football.

Like Edwards, FSG’s CEO of Football, Ward will oversee matters beyond just Liverpool, and his workload appears vast.

New responsibilities

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Sunday, December 11, 2022: Liverpool's Sporting Director Julian Ward during the Dubai Super Cup 2022 match between Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais at Al Maktoum Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As per James Pearce, Ward will be “overseeing player development across FSG’s football operations,” which will eventually include a second club once the right target has been found and acquired.

The former sporting director’s responsibilities also include “oversight of Liverpool’s academy, FSG’s loan department, group wide elite player development strategies and the establishment of FSG’s new football innovation department.”

Plenty to keep him busy, then!

He will have more defined targets, but on the face of it, it plays to his strengths.

In addition to his brief spell as Liverpool’s sporting director, Ward’s CV makes for impressive reading.

He previously worked as a South American scouting strategist for Man City, and at Liverpool was once the scouting manager for Spain and Portugal, and then the loan pathways and football partnerships manager.

Ward has experience in Portugal and has strong connections to the region, and his fluency in Portuguese will again prove beneficial, as it did for talks over Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez.

It’s clear then that Ward has vast experience to assist Liverpool in their post-Jurgen Klopp era and any future club FSG add to their portfolio.

With Klopp departing, FSG quickly made moves to pivot and are setting up a strong off-field foundation that prioritises stability and a clear direction.