Liverpool’s sporting director Julian Ward will STEP DOWN from his role at the end of the season

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Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward will step down at the end of the season due to personal reasons…just six months after taking over from Michael Edwards

  • Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward will retire at the end of the season
  • Ward only took up his role earlier this year, but is leaving for personal reasons
  • It adds further uncertainty after owners FSG put the club up for sale last month
  • Ward has been with Liverpool since 2011 and held a number of positions at the club

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Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward has told the club that he will step down at the end of the season.

It is a sudden and unexpected development as the 41-year-old only took over from Michael Edwards at the end of the last campaign. It is clear that the decision was made for personal reasons and the club reluctantly accepted his notice.

Liverpool insist this is not a development that will affect any plans they have for the next two transfer windows.

Julian Ward has told Liverpool he is stepping down from his position at the end of the season

Julian Ward has told Liverpool he is stepping down from his position at the end of the season

The Reds' sporting director only took over from Michael Edwards (left) at the end of last season.

The Reds' sporting director only took over from Michael Edwards (left) at the end of last season.

The Reds’ sporting director only took over from Michael Edwards (left) at the end of last season.

But this news is important because it comes in the middle of a period of great uncertainty for Liverpool – last month owners Fenway Sports Group put the club up for sale and Mike Gordon, the president overseeing day-to-day operations, steps down its crucial role.

Ward, who has held a number of positions within Liverpool’s coaching staff since joining them in 2011 after previously working for the Portuguese Football Association, succeeded the influential Michael Edwards, who worked with him for the past 12 months.

It was a whirlwind start to his time in the role, as Ward was instrumental in securing Liverpool’s potentially record-breaking signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica and completing Mohamed Salah’s contract extension.

There have also been a number of other new deals in recent months, with Diogo Jota, Joe Gomez and Curtis Jones all pledging their futures to the club, while the signing of Fabio Carvalho from Fulham is one that Liverpool believe will bring rich dividends.

Ward has a close relationship with Jurgen Klopp – the pair play paddle tennis together – and Liverpool claim the manager’s decision to extend his own contract until June 2026 is the element that will ensure stability going forward.

Ward (right) has a close relationship with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (centre)

Ward (right) has a close relationship with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (centre)

Ward (right) has a close relationship with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (centre)

Ward was instrumental in securing Liverpool's record-breaking signing of Darwin Nunez

Ward was instrumental in securing Liverpool's record-breaking signing of Darwin Nunez

Ward was instrumental in securing Liverpool’s record-breaking signing of Darwin Nunez

FSG are confident Billy Hogan, the club’s CEO, can step up and take on the role that Gordon, a key ally of Klopp, has filled, but there will be no appointment from within to take over from Ward – they will look for an outside candidate.

There’s no indication at this point who that will be, but at a time when Chelsea are also looking for a new sporting director, it’s not the time when Liverpool will be able to be too passive in their search.