Michael Edwards snubs Manchester United and Chelsea to return to Liverpool as CEO

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Michael Edwards has sealed his return to Liverpool FC after being appointed as CEO of football for Fenway Sports Group.

The move comes as the first major play in Fenway Sports Group’s restructure of Liverpool, ahead of the departure of Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season.

The former sporting director, who left Anfield in 2022, will take charge of football operations in a restructure and will be charged with appointing a new sporting director – expected to be Richard Hughes – as Liverpool plan for life after Jurgen Klopp.

FSG instigated talks with Edwards immediately after the news of Klopp’s exit, and after being initially turned down, they agreed terms on a wide-ranging role overseeing football operations.

Edwards, who will resign from his sporting consultancy Ludonautics on 1 June, has rejected offers from clubs including Manchester United and Chelsea in the last two years.

The club’s owners have now confirmed the news, which comes less than two years after Edwards left the club in 2022, at which point he was sporting director.

His role will be CEO of Football within FSG, which includes “a broad range of responsibilities including leading efforts to identify and recruit new leadership for Liverpool FC’s football operation.”

Edwards will take over responsibility for day-to-day decision making on football matters from FSG president Mike Gordon, who remains on the board but intends to reduce his involvement in football.

Edwards spent over a decade at Liverpool FC, serving initially as Performance Director upon joining in 2011, before being promoted to Sporting Director in 2015, a post he held until his departure in 2022. During that time the club secured its sixth UEFA European Cup/Champions League, a first ever Premier League title, a UEFA European Super Cup, a historic FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, and a League Cup.

Upon the announcement of his return, Edwards said:

“I am very grateful to Mike, John, Tom and the ownership group for offering me the opportunity to take on this new leadership role within FSG. I was humbled by the desire and persistence they showed in wanting to work with me again. This is definitely not something that I take for granted given their track record across sport and business.

“It was vital for me that, if I did return, it had to be with renewed vigour and energy. In practice, this means having fresh challenges and opportunities. As such, one of the biggest factors in my decision is the commitment to acquire and oversee an additional club, growing this area of their organization. I believe that to remain competitive, investment and expansion of the current football portfolio is necessary.

“With Liverpool, I will oversee the required reinforcement of football operations, with a number of essential leadership positions needing urgent attention. I know from personal experience what a wonderful job Mike Gordon has done with day-to-day oversight on behalf of his fellow owners. Going forward I’m looking forward to working with FSG’s Board of Managers. Also, in assuming this role, I fully understand that it comes with great expectations, and I therefore intend to identify, hire, and subsequently empower leaders who meet and embody the club’s values and ambitions.

“Having served the club previously I need no reminder of how much emotional investment is made by supporters in the city itself, as well as across the UK and the world. I am looking forward to getting started.”

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