Former Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has claimed that he achieved all that he had set out to do during his 10-year spell with the merseyside club.
But he was back in his homeland to give a lecture titled, ‘Football – Past, present and future’ as part of the Roscoe series at Liverpool John Moores University, where he also spoke to the Liverpool Echo .
Looking back at his time at Anfield, Ayre said, “For me, I always like to set myself big objectives,
“For Liverpool, when I arrived in 2007 there were three key objectives. One was to transform the business side, which as a fan I had felt was some way behind our big competitors, and missing some big opportunities.
“I felt that finding some kind of solution to the stadium issue was important, as well as returning the football side to the top end of the Premier League. I felt we achieved all of those in different forms.
“The business is transformed, the stadium has a great new addition to it and I am sure there is more to come, and in terms of the team, we are back up there at the top end with a world-class coach and some fantastic players.
“That’s the hardest part, the football side, and also the part that as chief executive you can have the least impact on overall.
“I felt my time there was good, I felt that I delivered on my personal objectives, and I am absolutely certain that I left the football club in much better shape than when I started.”
Ayre’s new club 1860 Munich, face a battle to stay in the top German division, as they currently sit third from bottom, but he remains upbeat about his new role as managing director,
“It’s been great,” he says, “Obviously it’s a big difference for me after 10 years at Liverpool. But it’s a fantastic club, a great city to live in, great people, hugely welcoming.
“It is a great, historic club, the same as Liverpool. Okay, it’s a different history, a different club, and the scale of the two clubs is different, but they are the same challenges.
“I’ve always felt that I needed to challenge myself at certain periods in my life,” he insists. “I felt as though I had achieved the objectives I set myself at Liverpool when I came, and it was time for a new challenge.
I’m enjoying it there for now… but ask me again in a year!”
Ayre even had time to praise his former bosses at Liverpool, Fenway Sports Group, who have come under recent criticism from factions of the reds support.
“I think they’re fantastic owners,” he says. “Their decision and direction to try and find a solution to stay at Anfield was a key landmark in their ownership.
“Anfield is the spiritual home of the football club we all love, what better solution than one which keeps us there?
“They have a great understanding of what makes this club special, they are committed to the values of a club and they are the important things you want to see in the owners of a football club.”