Ayre: Reds must take bold decisions

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre believes the club will continue to maximise their revenue by embracing "difference and change".

Football News: Liverpool

The Reds on Thursday provided an example of their thinking by announcing a six-year kit deal with United States-based firm Warrior.

In a departure from the tried and tested route of picking a well-established football strip manufacturer, Liverpool struck a deal with a company whose field of expertise has previously been limited to ice hockey and lacrosse.

A reported £150million over the course of the deal may have had plenty to do with the choice but Ayre insists they are not afraid to tap previously unknown areas if it means the best for the club.

"The greatest sportswear brands in the world all had a huge interest in being Liverpool's partner - we chose one of those and we are very happy with it," Ayre told Press Association Sport.

"You should embrace difference and change if you want to move forward and we have done that.

"Other examples include hiring people from outside football who bring fresh ideas and a new approach.

"We are really encouraged by the prospect of working with someone like Warrior, who absolutely have sportswear experience and distribution experience but who have a different take on things.

"We are thinking about how we are going to grow our business around the world and so are they so there are a lot of like-minded conversations going on.

"As well as being a club and Warrior being a sportswear brand we are both normal, well-run businesses."

Ayre said the global appeal of Liverpool, and the commercial success behind them, was an obvious attraction to firms.

"One of the paramount reasons Warrior and others were interested that we are a fantastic merchandising opportunity," he added.

"Some would say we have not perhaps capitalised on that globally but what Warrior have done is see the size of the brand, the business and the opportunity and when you put all that together, even in a difficult economy, people are looking for ways forward.

"The health of the commercial side is doing fantastically well.

"If you look at over the last four or five years it has only ever gone up, it continues to grow and we continue to grow our team and our reach.

"We have a fantastic team off the pitch just as we do on the pitch."

There were complaints aired by adidas, the club's current kit manufacturers, that Liverpool were asking too high a price for the next deal but manager Kenny Dalglish said the club's dealings could not be questioned.

"We had a fantastic relationship with adidas and they might be a little bit disappointed we have moved on but they got into the club the same way Warrior have done with fit and proper commercial discussions," he said.

"Overall I think the club has been very loyal not only to their shirt sponsors but the manufacturers.

"We've only had Umbro, adidas, Reebok, back to adidas and now it is Warrior.

"With shirt sponsors deals we've had Hitachi, Candy, Crown Paints, Carlsberg and now Standard Chartered - and two out of the previous four are still heavily involved in the club.

"That tells you how well the relationship with people who have been involved with the club has been in recent years."



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