Ian Ayre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Australian tennis player, see Ian Ayre (tennis).
Ian Ayre
Ian Ayre 20151103.jpg
Born 6 July 1963 (1963-07-06) (age 53)
Nationality English
Occupation Managing Director of TSV 1860 Munich

Ian Ayre is a former chief executive officer and main board director of Premier League club Liverpool FC.


Born in Liverpool on 6 July 1963, he was educated at Litherland High School.


Leaving school at age 16, he joined the Royal Navy. After leaving the senior service, he then undertook various roles in business in Asia, eventually becoming chief executive of Pace Systems.[1]

Returning to the UK, Ian was instrumental as a shareholder in the buyout of a UK professional football club, Huddersfield Town F.C., becoming Chief Executive and Chairman for three years, before getting the sack. He then spent three years as Founder Managing Director of sports content firm Premium TV, an NTL subsidiary (now Virgin Media). The business at the time was the world's largest provider of streaming football content with over five million users. He then moved to Malaysia, as COO of Total Sports Asia, a business selling sports media rights, managing live sports events and selling sports sponsorships.

He is also currently the Chairman of The Visitor Economy Committee for The Mersey Partnership, overseeing the visitor economy for the Liverpool City Region. [1]

Liverpool FC[edit]

Head hunted by a team working for then owners Tom Hicks and George N. Gillett, Jr., in 2007 Ayre was appointed Commercial Director at Liverpool. He used the Asian Liverbird book, a book showcasing the clubs international fan base, to secure a shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank - believed to be one of the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deals in football. The author of the book was given due recognition and was given a figure by the club as a thank you.

On 15 October 2010, NESV completed its £300m takeover of Liverpool,[2] at which time the clubs existing Managing Director Christian Purslow stepped down. The club's owners, Fenway Sports Group, led by John W. Henry and the chairman Tom Werner, announced Ayre as the new Managing Director on 22 March 2011.[3][4][5] With the sacking of sporting director Damien Comolli in April 2012, Ayre was given more responsibility and in May 2014 was officially promoted to chief executive officer.[6][7] In March 2016, Liverpool announced Ayre would step down as CEO at the end of May 2017, when his current contract expired.[8]

Ayre left Liverpool at the end of February 2017 to take over as managing director of TSV 1860 Munich.

In November 2016, Ayre was awarded the 'fcbusiness Premier League CEO of the Year' award at the Football Business Awards 2016. [9][10]


In 2012, a transfer committee implemented by Ayre (mainly during Brendan Rodgers' reign as manager), Liverpool's failure to land several notable transfers, and underwhelming incoming transfers were widely criticized by media and fans alike.[11][12][13] In January 2016, Ayre was criticized for his role in a proposed increase in ticket prices despite boosts in commercial revenue, which led to a walkout of 10,000 fans led by fan group Spirit of Shankly.[14] The club and Ayre later issued a formal apology and reversed their decision.[15]


  1. ^ a b Alex Turner (2010-10-14). "Profile of Liverpool FC commercial director Ian Ayre". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  2. ^ "New owner John W Henry determined to revive Liverpool". BBC Sport. 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2010-10-20. 
  3. ^ "Liverpool appoint Ian Ayre as new managing director". BBC Sport. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  4. ^ "Liverpool appoint Ian Ayre as managing director and promote Damien Comolli". Daily Telegraph. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  5. ^ Rice, Jimmy (2008-08-13). "Meet Rushie and Thommo at Anfield tomorrow". Liverpoolfc.tv. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Liverpool shake-up begins as under-fire transfer chief Comolli leaves Anfield... and now the chief doctor's gone too". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  7. ^ Jones, Neil. "Ian Ayre promoted to LFC chief executive role". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  8. ^ "Ian Ayre to step down as CEO in May 2017". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 2016-03-14. 
  9. ^ http://footballbusinessawards.com/winners/
  10. ^ "Reds CEO Ian Ayre scoops top award". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 2016-11-07. 
  11. ^ Metro.co.uk, Jamie McLaughlin for. "Should Ian Ayre be sacked by Liverpool?". Metro. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  12. ^ Football, Mirror. "Tough love: Liverpool MD Ayre defends owners over Dalglish sacking". mirror. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  13. ^ Lusby, Jack. "Jurgen Klopp has "final say" despite Liverpool's transfer committee approach - Ian Ayre - This Is Anfield". This Is Anfield. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  14. ^ Wilson, Paul (2016-02-04). "Liverpool fans plan first ever walkout protest at Anfield over £77 ticket prices". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  15. ^ Boardman, Jim. "Why Liverpool's £77 ticket climbdown is not quite the win for fans it appeared". mirror. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 

External links[edit]