Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward to leave the club at the end of the season
Merely seven months into his new role, Liverpool Sporting Director Julian Ward will step down from his position at the end of the current season. James Pearce of The Athletic (Subscription Required) writes that Ward intends to take a break from football to divert attention to his private life.
Taking on from Michael Edwards, who was extremely vital in Liverpool’s transfer business during his spell at the club as Sporting Director, Ward has had big shoes to fill and took important decisions in the initial few weeks of his appointment.
Ward was solely responsible for Mohamed Salah’s contract extension at the club, and also oversaw the transfer of club record signing Darwin Nunez. He also negotiated the sale of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich and helped the Reds secure a sizeable amount for Neco Williams as well.
Apart from the players, Ward also was instrumental in manager Jurgen Klopp signing a long-term contract at the club. A part of the Liverpool backroom team since 2012, Ward initially saw himself appointed as a scout after he left a similar profile at Manchester City.
The former Morecambe FC player will fulfil his role until the end of this season, though, and shall assist the Reds in finding a suitable replacement. Working under FSG’s tight spending power, even in those circumstances, the recruitment team has done a phenomenal job.
Moving forward though, one would believe that the gaffer Jurgen Klopp will have a mightier say in transfer negotiations, but Ward will be essential to the German in his pursuit of Jude Bellingham next summer.
Moreover, it is to be seen whether the Reds will announce a replacement immediately or wait for the season to end to take things forward. Anyways, the Reds will find it tough to replace such shrewd operators.
Losing Michael Edwards and now Ward in such quick succession could be a sign of things to come. With the club being on sale – something which is public knowledge now – perhaps a comprehensive change is brewing behind the scenes, one which is necessary to keep things fresh and Liverpool FC competitive.
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What’s happening with us almost seems to mirror what has happened with Chelsea – at least in a vague sense. They have new owners, manager, and a lot of their backroom staff has changed since 2021.