Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Ayre: Reds have financial power

Ian Ayre has talked up Liverpool's performances off the field

Managing director Ian Ayre insists Liverpool are at the top of the league when it comes to commercial deals and are able to compete financially with their major rivals.

The Reds on Thursday announced a multi-million pound global partnership with American company Dunkin' Donuts.

Ayre said income from such partnerships would afford manager Brendan Rodgers the chance to build the best squad he was able to.

"In order to support Brendan we have to provide the resources to allow that," said Ayre.

"That is only allowable operating within your own means - they are the rules we have all signed up to - and this is absolutely vital in us being able to compete.

"We should be pleased and fans should take comfort from the fact commercially this club is right at the top of teams in that regard.

"In the modern game we talk about financial fair play and the ability to operate in transfer markets, and a big part of doing what we want to achieve here is generating revenue which supports what we do on the pitch.

"Fans are interested in seeing the team win matches and the way we do that is by putting the best team out there every week.

"There are a finite number of partners we can have on a global basis and it is vital as a football club, like our competitors, we compete in that.

"I don't think we're trying to catch up with anyone. Off the pitch I think we bat right at the top of the league in terms of our commercial activity and our performances in that regard.

"Our ambition is to be the best we can be for our fans, not compete with anyone else."

United States-based principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner are in Liverpool this weekend for Saturday's home game against Aston Villa.

While they are on Merseyside they will be undertaking routine business but Ayre said there was nothing out of the ordinary about their appearance.

Ayre said: "The football is going well and the business is going well and it is a timely time to sit down and catch up, but there is nothing in particular on the agenda."

With performances on the pitch proving impressive - Liverpool stand fourth in the table - and new commercial deals coming in, there is much more stability around the club now than when Fenway Sports Group took over in 2010.

Ayre said that was mainly due to the approach taken by FSG.

"They have brought what they said from the outset they would bring: structure, stability and a desire to win," he said.

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