Richard Hughes Has Been Confirmed As Liverpool’s New Sporting Director

Richard Hughes

Liverpool have appointed Richard Hughes as their new sporting director. The 44-year-old will start his new role on June 1, 2024. His first task will be to find a successor for departing Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, who leaves Anfield at the end of the season

Hughes, spent a decade as Bournemouth’s technical director, before recently resigning from his role and is Michael Edwards’s first appointment since being named Fenway Sports Group’s [FSG] CEO of Football.

Hughes replaces Jorg Schmadtke, who took on the role last May, but only in a short-term basis before leaving after the January transfer window.

Edwards has had a long-standing desire to work with Hughes and they have a professional and personal relationship spanning over 20 years having previously worked together during Hughes’s playing career at Portsmouth, when Edwards was the south coast club’s head analyst under then manager Harry Redknapp.

Hughes arrives at Liverpool with a proven track record of signing young players. He brought the likes of Nathan Ake, Dominic Solanke, Callum Wilson and Aaron Ramsdale to Bournemouth. He has an advantage of speaking three languages and has good contacts in both France and Italy, where he grew up.

Coincidentally, Hughes knows the agent of reported Liverpool managerial target Xabi Alonso having brought another of his clients, Andoni Iraola, to the Vitality last summer, while he was also reportedly keen for Roberto De Zerbi – another man understood to be on the shortlist to replace Jurgen Klopp – to manage Bournemouth.

“I am incredibly proud to be offered this opportunity. Liverpool FC is a unique club and I’m grateful to be given a chance to serve it in this capacity,” Hughes told the club’s website.

“People rightly talk about the rich history this organisation can boast, but it is the present and future which really excites me.

“It will be my job, working with him and leading the football operations team already in place, plus the wider staff at the AXA Training Centre, to make good decisions.

Some of Hughes’s tasks include: extending contracts of Salah, Van Dijk & Alexander-Arnold, and also to make decision on whether to offer veterans Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara new deals.

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He is also expected to find a replacement to Klopp, who declared in January he will leave the club toward the finish of the season.

In response to the appointment, Edwards said:

“I’m delighted Richard has agreed to join us in this vitally important position. I’ve known him for half of my life in a professional and personal capacity and he is absolutely someone who embodies the best values of Liverpool FC. I trust him completely”.

“He has outstanding judgement and a track record of making smart decisions which benefit the organisations he represents. Both Richard and I are aware of the weight of responsibility that comes with working in this capacity for a club such as this. The fact he is excited and energised by the challenge ahead is important”.

“It is clear to everyone that Jürgen will leave a legacy to build upon and in Richard we have the right person to make the key decisions and offer the leadership to take us forward into a bright future.

“As one very successful chapter will come to a close for Liverpool in the summer, the objective of everyone here is for another one to begin – and with Richard I am confident we have the right person in position for us to achieve this aim.”

Hughes has worked at Bournemouth for over 10 years – seven of the last nine of which have been in the Premiere League.

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