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Nashville MLS expansion club snares ex-Liverpool CEO Ayre

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Former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre is moving from Merseyside to the Music City.

The Tennesseean’s Joe Rexrode says Ayre is set to take the reins of Nashville SC as the first CEO in club history when it makes its debut in the 2020 MLS season.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Liverpool hired ex-EA Sports executive Peter Moore to replace Ayre in 2017 after the latter, 54, spent six years with the club as managing director and then CEO.

From the Tennessean:

“The MLS has huge ambitions to be one of the biggest and leading leagues in the world, and is on that trajectory,” Ayre said. “Both as a soccer fan and an executive in the industry, it’s something I’ve had my eye on because it’s important. … You talk about MLS and its growth, I think it’s becoming easier and will become easier to attract the right talent to something that’s exciting and developing. And if you have a reputation of being involved in a club like Liverpool, you hope that stands for something when you start to try and attract talent.”

The timing of Ayre’s addition hearkens back to that of former Tottenham executive Darren Eales at Atlanta United. If it has the same success, Nashville will be proud.

Ex-Liverpool CEO shares biting story of Suarez transfer

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Ian Ayre’s got jokes.

The former Liverpool CEO lifted the lid on some transfer stories during a Merseyside lecture this week.

Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).

The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…

“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”

We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.

Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.

Liverpool hires EA Sports executive as new CEO

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Liverpool has named Peter Moore as the successor to chief executive office Ian Ayre.

Ayre, 53, is off to 1860 Munich this summer, and has stepped down early to allow Moore to take over.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]

A Liverpool-born executive, Moore was the chief operating officer at EA Sports and has also worked with Microsoft and SEGA.

The move “completes a transitional phase” which saw several new names join the fray. From The Liverpool Echo:

The appointment completes a transition plan by FSG which included appointing Michael Edwards as sporting director while Billy Hogan was promoted to the role of managing director and chief commercial officer.

Report: Liverpool set to name Edwards as sporting director

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According to The Liverpool Echo, we now know the man who will sort out transfers and contracts at Liverpool once Ian Ayre leaves Anfield at the end of the season.

Michael Edwards is his name, and the 37-year-old comes with the Jurgen Klopp seal of approval. Klopp will still have the final say on transfers, but Edwards will sort them out.

Edwards has been at Liverpool since 2011, and is the current technical director for the club.

From The Echo:

Fenway Sports Group have long since favoured the continental model of having a sporting director or a director of football working with a manager.

Damien Comolli filled that role from November 2010 until the Frenchman was sacked in April 2012. The American owners had intended to replace Comolli in the summer of 2012 but they were talked out of it by new boss Brendan Rodgers, who wanted sole control.

As a result the transfer committee was born which included FSG president Mike Gordon, Ayre, Rodgers, director of scouting Dave Fallows, chief scout Barry Hunter and Edwards.

What do you make of this, Liverpool fans? Does it matter as long as Klopp has final say? Was it one of Rodgers’ better moves to help eliminate the position?

Ings: It’s time for Liverpool to win for Rodgers

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Depending on whose “sources” you trust, Brendan Rodgers could either be fired as Liverpool manager with a loss to Aston Villa on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on Live Extra), or he could have the rest of the 2015-16 Premier League season to right the ship and save his job.

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While it’s impossible to know what’s going on inside the heads of owner John Henry and chief executive Ian Ayre, Liverpool striker Danny Ings is absolutely sure of one thing: it’s time for the players to step up, do their part, win for Rodgers and ease some of the pressure currently weighing down their manager.

Ings, on the Reds’ must-win mentality for Saturday, from the Mirror:

“We’ve gone through a sticky patch as a team but it is just important for us now to start winning games and go on a run for him.

“As players you just approach every game the same as before all this. It is about us as a team winning games, and that is all we can do for the manager.

“It is important that we get wins under our belt for him and for us so we can move forward.

“All you need to look at is the chances we are creating. You can just sense there is a big result around the corner.”

Of the Reds’ five most recent managers, just one (Roy Hodgson) was relieved of his duties during the season, so giving Rodgers the boot midseason — just seven games into the campaign, to boot — would seem almost counterproductive. As much money as Rodgers has been allowed to spend on players ($390 million over seven transfer windows, including $102 million this past summer), would indicate his job is probably safe, at least for now.

[ MORE: West Ham’s Bilic says refs are biased toward “biggest clubs” ]

Saturday’s showdown with Villa will be made slightly more difficult, as Liverpool will be without Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino, who suffered a back injury in the Reds’ penalty shootout victory over Carlisle United on Wednesday.