Liverpool re-appoint former sporting director Julian Ward

Julian Ward returns to Liverpool as FSG technical director

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Michael Edwards has welcomed back former Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward as Fenway Sports Group’s (FSG) new technical director, according to The Athletic.

Ward has returned to the role after taking a year-long break from football.

In addition, Edwards, who assumed the position of FSG’s CEO of football in March, overseeing the transition beyond Jurgen Klopp’s era, has appointed Benfica’s Pedro Marques as director of football development.

Michael Edwards has introduced a new football executive structure, with Richard Hughes joining from Bournemouth as the sporting director and David Woodfine rejoining the club as Hughes’ assistant.

The search for Jurgen Klopp’s successor has concluded, with Feyenoord manager Arne Slot poised to be confirmed for the role after an extensive selection process.

The Athletic claims that “Ward will be tasked with overseeing player development across FSG’s football operations.

“His wide range of responsibilities will include oversight of Liverpool’s academy, FSG’s loan department, group wide elite player development strategies and the establishment of FSG’s new football innovation department.”

Ward and Marques are scheduled to commence their roles on June 1 as part of the new management framework spearheaded by FSG’s Chief Executive of Football, Edwards.

Ward initially joined Liverpool as European scouting manager in 2012 before assuming the position of loan and pathways manager in 2015.

He was later promoted to assistant sporting director under Edwards in December 2020, eventually succeeding him 18 months later.

However, Ward’s tenure as sporting director lasted only one season, with his decision to leave Liverpool announced as early as November 2022.

He played a crucial role in the signings of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, and Cody Gakpo, as well as negotiating Mohamed Salah’s contract extension.

Ward also facilitated the signing of Alexis Mac Allister before departing in the summer of 2023.

Before joining Liverpool, Ward worked for Manchester City as a South American scouting strategist from 2010 to 2012, overlapping with Marques’ tenure at the Etihad.

Marques served as a first-team performance analyst at Manchester City from 2010 to 2014, following six years with Sporting Lisbon.

He then spent four years as the global lead for football performance at the City Football Group before assuming the role of technical director at Benfica in July 2018.

Since learning of Klopp’s decision to step down as Liverpool manager last November, FSG has been actively restructuring its football operations.

With Klopp’s impending departure announced in January, the club’s owners have made several key appointments behind the scenes.

Ward and Marques are the latest additions as Liverpool continues to prepare for the post-Klopp era following the German’s successful nine-year tenure at the club.

Read more: Liverpool re-appoint former sporting director Julian Ward

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