Edwards calls time on Liverpool after 10 years
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On the Move
Edwards calls time on Liverpool after 10 years
by Jonathan Rest

Michael Edwards, Liverpool FC's hugely influential Sporting Director, has confirmed his exit from the Premier League giants at the end of the season.

I’ve loved working here, but I am a big believer in change. I think it’s good for the individual and, in a work setting, good for the employer, too. Over my time here we have changed so many things (hopefully for the better) but someone new brings a different perspective, new ideas and can hopefully build (or change) on the things that have been put in place beforehand.
Michael Edwards
Sporting Director, Liverpool FC

Edwards (pictured) will depart on the expiration of his contract after a decade at the club, and will be succeeded by Julian Ward, who was only promoted to the role of Assistant Sporting Director last year.

 

Edwards, who has also worked from Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur, joined Liverpool in November 2011 as Head of Analytics, and later served as Director of Technical Performance and Technical Director.

 

He was named as the club's first Sporting Director in November 2016, working closely alongside Manager Jurgen Klopp and Mike Gordon, the president of owners Fenway Sports Group, to build a squad that won the UEFA Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League a year later.

 

Edwards played a key role in the recruitment of players such as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and Fabinho, and he has also earned a reputation as one of the game’s shrewdest operators when selling players too.

 

In an open letter on Liverpool's official website, Edwards said: “I had always planned to cap my time at the club to a max of 10 years. I’ve loved working here, but I am a big believer in change. I think it’s good for the individual and, in a work setting, good for the employer, too. Over my time here we have changed so many things (hopefully for the better) but someone new brings a different perspective, new ideas and can hopefully build (or change) on the things that have been put in place beforehand.

 

“Julian has been building up the skill set for this role for many years. Last year, he took on the role of assistant sporting director and over the past 12 months he has been introduced to other facets of the role that are vital to its success. I believe he is ideal for the role. Over the coming season I will continue to support him as we complete the leadership transition.”

 

Ward joined Liverpool in 2012 as European Scouting Manager, having previously held scouting and analytics roles with both Manchester City and the Portuguese national team.

 

In 2015 he was promoted to Loan Pathways and Football Partnerships Manager.

 

Liverpool's Director of Research Dr Ian Graham, a key member of Edwards' staff, spoke at the recent StatsBomb conference about how to maximise the impact of analytics within a club, an article on which can be read here.

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