Liverpool have confirmed sporting director Michael Edwards will leave his role after the expiration of his contract.
A club statement said Edwards had given notice to Liverpool’s ownership that he wished to take up a new challenge after his deal ends, which is at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Julian Ward, who is the assistant sporting director, will be promoted following Edwards’ departure.
Edwards, 42, joined Liverpool in 2011 as head of analytics, and was then promoted to director of technical performance.
Another promotion, to technical director, followed, before he took up the role of sporting director in November 2016.
While in the role, Edwards has overseen a hugely successful spell for the Reds, with Jurgen Klopp’s side winning the 2018-19 Champions League and 2019-20 Premier League, as well as the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
“To be part of this club during this period has been a privilege due to the people I have been fortunate enough to work with and the success we have enjoyed,” Edwards said.
“I had always planned to cap my time at the club to a max of 10 years. I’ve loved working here, but I am a big believer in change. I think it’s good for the individual and, in a work setting, good for the employer, too.”
We have today announced future changes to the structure of our football operations leadership, with the news that Michael Edwards will step down as sporting director at the end of this season.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 10, 2021
In his presentation as Newcastle United’s head coach on Tuesday, Eddie Howe was asked if he knew anything of Edwards possibly joining the Magpies.
Newcastle are looking for a sporting or football director following their Saudi-backed takeover. Michael Emenalo, the former sporting director of Chelsea and Monaco, has also been linked.
“As far as I know, absolutely not, no. I know nothing about Michael Edwards’ future,” Howe said.
“He’s someone that I hugely respect in the game and in what he does and what he’s done for Liverpool. My main focus since coming to Newcastle has been on the players that are in the team, not focused on January, not focused on anything outside of what influences the team.”