Ex-Liverpool chief Julian Ward returns to Anfield as Michael Edwards makes two appointments

Lewis Oldham
Liverpool FSG
A general view outside Anfield.

According to reports, Julian Ward has returned to Liverpool as he has been appointed their technical director by FSG’s CEO of football Michael Edwards.

Liverpool are in the process of a major overhaul as it became clear in January that they need to replace ex-sporting director Jorg Schmadtke and departing manager Jurgen Klopp.

FSG’s first job was to replace Schmadtke and they quickly focused on re-appointing Edwards, who had been without a club since leaving Liverpool in June 2022.

Edwards was unwilling to return to football to be a sporting director again but FSG tempted him to come back to Liverpool by giving him a more prominent role in their set-up.

The 44-year-old was named FSG’s CEO of Football in March and another deal was quickly concluded to make Richard Hughes their new sporting director ahead of his summer exit from Premier League rivals AFC Bournemouth.

Edwards and Ward reunite at Liverpool

With Arne Slot also lined up to replace Klopp, a report from The Athletic‘s James Pearce has revealed that Edwards has secured Ward’s services.

Ward was Liverpool’s technical director during Edwards’ first stint at Anfield and he was briefly their sporting director before he followed his colleague in leaving the Premier League club in March 2023.

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Pearce has also revealed that Edwards has appointed Benfica’s Pedro Marques as Liverpool’s new director of football development. The journalist has explained how they will fit in at Anfield.

‘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. He will also preside over the management of football operations at any club added to FSG’s stable as the American owners look to establish a multi-club model.

‘Hughes’ role will see him oversee the coaching, recruitment, negotiations, medical and sports science operations, along with the administrative and facilities management at the Kirkby training complex.

‘Hughes and Ward, who will both report to Edwards, will be tasked with ensuring that academy graduates and young players acquired from across the globe remain a vital source of first-team talent.

‘Marques, who will report to Ward, is regarded by Edwards as an industry leading expert in player development, career pathways, coaching methodologies and performance analysis.

‘Marques’ role included overseeing youth player development and their transition to first-team football, leading on coaching recruitment and overseeing a youth structure comprising of 39 teams and around 600 players. Ruben Dias, Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos, Antonio Silva and Joao Neves were among those to make the leap to Benfica’s first team.

‘Edwards believes the experience and expertise of Marques makes him an ideal fit for FSG’s expanding football operations. Both Marques and Ward will start their new roles on June 1.’

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