Friday, April 19, 2013

Liverpool Owners Have Asked Man United For Advice

Liverpool owner John W Henry has asked for tips on running the Anfield club - from arch-rivals Manchester United.

The Kop club's principal owner Henry and chairman Tom Werner have contacted Old Trafford chief executive David Gill and Ivan Gazidis, chief exec at Arsenal, to pick their brains.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre revealed the approaches, and claimed they showed that Henry and Werner are determined to explore every avenue to improve the club.

"He and Tom are both very open in their approach," said Ayre. "They'll contact David at United and Ivan at Arsenal - 'What do you think?' That's healthy.

"'Let's get a rounded view of the sport and how we should be doing things.'

"It's better to have an owner who is taking a genuine interest and is well-informed, rather than someone who says, 'I was successful in baseball, so I can do that in soccer.'

"They both put a lot of time into the team and into the game. That bodes well for Liverpool."

Ayre also defended Henry's commitment to the cause.

The American multi-millionaire, who also owns baseball's Boston Red Sox, has been criticised for not attending a Liverpool game this season.

Henry was at Monday's Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield and Ayre claims he remains dedicated to restoring the club's fortunes.

"There have been quite a few comments because John hasn't been to a game this season," said Ayre.

"As is always the case, the media then spun that into John Henry hasn't been to a game and is losing interest.

"That's nonsense. Tom's been to quite a few and that's part of them sharing that responsibility. It's about them finding that balance. We don't have to have John there for it to be a success.

"We speak every week. We have a management call. We talk through issues. John and Tom are very involved in that. That's the way it should be.

"Of course, fans don't see that. They just think he hasn't been to Liverpool. But Tom has been to Liverpool."

Ayre also insisted Liverpool will NOT consider selling star striker Luis Suarez, amid links with Bayern Munich and Juventus.

Benitez Excited Ahead Of Anfield Return

Interim Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez is eagerly anticipating his return to Anfield on Sunday afternoon, but insists he wants to leave with all three points.

The Blues won 3-0 at Fulham on Wednesday night with a long range effort from David Luiz and a brace from John Terry and ahead of Sunday’s trip to Anfield the Spaniard admitted he is looking forward to returning to Merseyside.

“Liverpool is where my family live now,” the Spaniard said. “I have been there for six years and have very good memories.

“I cannot hide that I am really pleased to be going there to see a lot of old friends.

“The main thing is to stay in the top three and what I want is to win at Liverpool.

“And after, I wish them all the best and if they can win all their games until the end of the season, which will be fantastic.

“But as a professional, I am sure they will try and win and we will try win.”

Benitez was also full of praise for returning defender John Terry.

“He has to be happy, scoring goals,” Benitez said. “Everyone is.

“It's good for him and the team. I'm really pleased because it was a good performance.

“I prefer these problems [of whether to leave him out]. I told the players before it is important that they have to be ready.

“We have eight or nine games to play and everyone has to be on his toes and ready to play and perform.

“We will try to stay in the top three and we have the Europa League as well. We want to compete in both competitions.”

Borini: Rome Derby Is Special

Liverpool striker Fabio Borini admits he’d have “loved to play in the Coppa Italia Rome Derby. It’s not something that happens often.”

The Italian Under-21 international left Roma in the summer, but is still keeping a close eye on his former teammates as they reached the Coppa Italia Final against arch rivals Lazio.

“I would’ve really loved to play in the Coppa Italia Rome Derby. It’s not something that happens often, and it’s a game in which they are fighting for European qualification as well as a trophy,” he told Rete Sport.

“I always watch Roma and often sit down for their games on television. I had a great rapport with the Giallorossi fans, even though I wasn’t there for long, and am happy they still show affection towards me.”

Borini played in the Derby della Capitale, but cannot yet say what it’s like to play in the Merseyside Derby.

“It’s certainly true that in Rome there is more rivalry and the gap between Liverpool and Everton is much clearer than between Roma and Lazio.

“I am not thinking about my future right now. I intend to stay at Liverpool, as I haven’t been able to prove myself here yet due to injuries. I have to show I am worthy of this shirt.”

Newcastle Prepare £7m Transfer Bid

The future of Andy Carroll is up for discussion once more inside the Football Transfer Tavern, with Jamie Sanderson of Metro reckoning Newcastle United are ready to launch an audacious £7 million bid for the strikers services.

The Geordie is close to completing a season long loan at West Ham United from Liverpool, who signed the player from the Magpies for a staggering £35 million in January 2011.

Newcastle believes they can sign the player for a cut price this summer with Liverpool desperate to sell in order for Brendan Rodgers to fund new purchases of his own.

Liverpool is aware they will struggle to receive their asking price of £20 million for the England striker, who has barely managed 10 league goals in the past two seasons.

Newcastle has made no secret of their desire to be reunited with their former striker, and have attempted to sign him in the last two transfer windows.

It is thought this bid in the summer will be the last, and a simple ‘take it or leave it’ offer to the Reds.

Carroll is currently contracted to Liverpool until 2016, whilst the Hammers have admitted the striker may be out of their price range despite Sam Allardyce admitting he would love to sign the player on a permanent deal.

Galatasaray To Rival Liverpool & Man United For Colombian Striker

Liverpool and Manchester United will face a fight with Galatasaray for the signing of Porto striker Jackson Martinez.

The forward is now regarded as one of the world's best strikers, alongside Atletico Madrid's Falcao and Edinson Cavani of Napoli.

And that has sparked the interest of free-spending Galatasaray, who have recently added superstars Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder to their squad.

Generous tax tariffs for big-earners in Turkey have opened the door for the Turkish champions to invest heavily in high-profile stars.

And, according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Porto can now prepare themselves for a huge bid for their coveted frontman.

Gala are reportedly ready to open the bidding at £37.5m but with interest rife among Europe's elite clubs, as well as the big spending Russian clubs like Anzhi, that figure could still rise.

The Colombian has scored 23 goals in 25 league appearances this season after joining from Mexican club Jaguares last summer.

Liverpool Keeping Tabs On Alonso’s Contract Talks

Liverpool is keeping an eye on developments between Xabi Alonso and Real Madrid after he reportedly stalled over signing a new contract.

Alonso’s contract will expire in the summer and talks between him and the club are at deadlock and Alonso's father, Periko, has been quite coy about his son's future.

"What he wants to do is to wait a bit to see what happens and how things go, and then, when the time is right, he'll make the appropriate decision," Periko told Marca.

"It's as simple as that - there's nothing else to it."

In the meantime Madrid has also been linked with PSG’s midfielder Marco Verratti as a replacement for the Spaniard.

The Express reports that the Reds are eyeing a move for Alonso as he would be welcomed back with open arms if he returned to Liverpool, being a fans’ favourite during his spell at Anfield.

No Agreement With Liverpool Over Eriksen

Ajax has dismissed reports that they have agreed a deal to sell Christian Eriksen to Liverpool this summer.

Reports in recent weeks have suggested that the Premier League club is close to signing the highly rated playmaker but Ajax has rejected the claims.

"We will send out a press release when there is an agreement," Ajax press manager Eefje Schep told Danish TV2.

"Also if there is only a deal between Ajax and the club. So at this time there is no agreement between Ajax and Liverpool."

Ajax technical director Marc Overmars has reiterated that Eriksen, who has one year running on his current deal at the Amsterdam ArenA, has rejected the chance to extend his contract.

"Christian has informed us that he won't be signing a new deal with us at this time," Overmars told Voetbal International. "I think that he and his agent will want to see what options are available in the summer.

Jack Wolfskin Sign For 3 More Years

Liverpool FC and outdoor equipment specialist Jack Wolfskin have today announced a three-year extension of their current partnership deal.

Jack Wolfskin became the Reds' official outdoor equipment partner in 2010. The success of the partnership has helped raise awareness of the German brand in key territories where Liverpool FC is a dominant brand.

It is estimated that the top-flight club has more than 240 million followers across the globe that the club interacts with on a regular basis. Recently Liverpool FC launched 12 new local language Twitter accounts, reaching fans in more than 75 different countries.

Liverpool FC's chief commercial officer, Billy Hogan, said: "We are delighted to renew our partnership with Jack Wolfskin, one of the world's leading outdoor brands.

"We've worked hard to develop campaigns that benefit our fans, Jack Wolfskin, and the club. In partnership, we have achieved a unique balance, and we are thrilled to extend our relationship with Jack Wolfskin for a longer term with the club."

The Barclays Premier League is broadcast in 212 territories, reaching 650 million homes with a cumulative global audience of 4.7 billion people. Of the 20 clubs, Jack Wolfskin chose Liverpool FC to break into a league watched all over the world.

Elke Stein, chief marketing officer at Jack Wolfskin, said: "For three years we have seen first-hand the benefits of a partnership with Liverpool FC. The club has a phenomenal reach, which has helped raise awareness of our brand in key markets.

"The lure of the Premier League goes further than just Great Britain. Liverpool FC matches are broadcast in important markets for us, such as China and Russia, helping to raise the profile of Jack Wolfskin."

Jack Wolfskin and Liverpool FC's extended partnership will start from the 2013-14 season running until the end of the 2015-16 season.

LFC Appoints Director Of Communications

Liverpool Football Club has appointed Susan Black as the club's director of communications.

Susan joined the club in 2011 as head of internal communications and for the past six months has been leading both the internal and external communications functions on an interim basis.

Prior to joining the club, Susan held senior corporate communications and PR roles including head of communications at WYG plc, head of communications at NTL (now Virgin Media) and communications manager at Scottish Enterprise.

Managing director Ian Ayre said: "Our communications team is an essential part of our business operation to manage the dialogue with all the club's key stakeholders.

"Having worked alongside Susan for the past several months, I am delighted to appoint her to this position on a full-time basis. Susan brings a wealth of communications experience to the club and will be a key member of my senior executive team."

Susan will be responsible for all of the club's communications including managing the press office, public relations, internal communications and photography operations. She will start her role with immediate effect and will continue to drive forward the club's communications strategies that she developed last year.

Susan said: "I have been fortunate to work alongside many talented people in the club for the past two years and it is a real honour for me to now lead the communications function for Liverpool.

"I am looking forward to my new role with an immense sense of pride and with it the opportunity to ensure we effectively engage with our key stakeholders whilst at the same time ensuring we live by the values that have made this great club what it is today."

Susan was born and educated in Scotland. She holds a Masters degree in PR and Communications from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and a Post Graduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.