LIVERPOOL’S DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL Damien Comolli, the man responsible for transfer strategy at Anfield over the last 18 months, has left the club by mutual consent.
Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s American owners, confirmed Comolli’s departure in a short statement issued this morning and thanked him for his work.
The decision to part ways with Comolli follows a run of form which has seen Liverpool win just two of their last 10 games in the Premier League, leaving them in eighth place, a point behind Everton ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final between the two Merseyside rivals.
After successful spells at boardroom level with Tottenham Hotspur and Saint Etienne in his native France, Comolli arrived in Anfield in November 2010 as one of FSG’s first recruits following their takeover of the club from Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
Initially appointed as Director of Football Strategy, he made an immediate impact in the January 2011 transfer window when he oversaw the signing of Luis Suarez from Ajax and Andy Carroll from Newcastle for a British transfer record £35m.
However, Liverpool’s disappointing form this season along with the inconsistent performances of Carroll and some of the club’s big money summer signings led to criticism of Comolli and his transfer policy, particularly from those who felt that the club had overpaid for transfer targets like Stuart Downing and Jordan Henderson.
“I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work at Liverpool and am happy to move on from the club and back to France for family reasons,” Comolli said in this morning’s statement. “I wish the club all the best for the future.”
Liverpool’s principal owner John Henry said, “We are grateful for all of Damien’s efforts on behalf of Liverpool and wish him all the best for the future.”
Chairman Tom Werner added, “The club needs to move forward and we now have a huge game on Saturday. It is important that everyone joins us in supporting the manager and gets behind Kenny and the team and focuses on a strong finish to the season.”