Ian Ayre: Liverpool ‘On Track’ To Reach Objectives

Daniel Sturridge, Merseyside derbyIan Ayre has outlined the plans and targets in place to ensure Liverpool remains financially competitive with Europe’s elite sides, with the club currently “on track” to meet its objectives.

With 10 games remaining in the Barclays Premier League season, the Reds are second in the standings — with 18 victories from 28 games putting Brendan Rodgers’ team in contention for UEFA Champions League qualification.

Returning to the continent’s top competition is a goal along with the development and expansion of Anfield, according to the managing director.

Ayre was responding to the latest Deloitte Football Money League standings, which showed the Reds in 12th place, following the release of the club’s financial results last week.

“We are Liverpool FC, and we know what good looks like,” Ayre told the Liverpool Echo. “We’ve been there, and we expect to be the best we can be.

“But you have to take a reasonable amount of comfort from the fact that we know why we are 12th. We are not playing European football, and that’s at the heart of it. We have a stadium that doesn’t allow us the capacity that our demands dictate.

“So we know why, and we are doing all we can to address that. We are doing what we can in terms of European football by addressing it on the pitch, and we are all hoping we can get back in the Champions League.

“Brendan and the team at the club have all put a fantastic effort in to try and win us that prize and get us there. And if we got Champions League football and were enjoying Champions League revenues, I think that would have put us eighth in that Deloitte league this year.

“And then if you look at our proposals and our efforts to try and stay at Anfield and improve the capacity there, then with the sort of capacities we’re aiming for and the resultant revenues we think would come from that, then we actually think that would end with us getting somewhere about fifth or sixth.

“Those two fixes, not insignificant challenges, would put us very much back at the forefront. You know our commercial revenue is almost second-to-none in that regard. We really do battle at the top end of the league in that sense. So it’s about fixing those other parts.

“But we are aware of them, and everybody at the football club, from the owners, myself, Brendan and the team, everybody is focused on those two prizes.

“We continue to feel very positive about where we are with the stadium objectives, but at the same time we continue to be very measured about it. We are in good shape, and perhaps the best message we can give to the fans is that our timelines that we set out to achieve this are on track. We are not behind.”

During recent months, the club has announced partnerships with Garuda Indonesia, Dunkin’ Brands Group, XOLO and Vauxhall Motors.

“Our revenue increase has largely come through our increase in commercial activity,” Ayre said. “We have seen the various public announcements we make about that, just in terms of the key new partnerships that our commercial group develop — the improvement of our retail business globally — and we are continuing to grow our media business and other elements.

“So we’ve invested — this ownership group has invested — a huge amount of time, effort, expertise and money into our commercial activity, and it continues, month to month, year to year, to bear fruit.

“So that’s the core. And obviously other revenue increases come from media revenue growth. In the core, our commercial activity is what drives it.”

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