Liverpool announce departure of communications chief

The Reds' head of PR will depart the Merseyside club on Sunday after facing heavy criticism this season of the handling of the Luis Suarez racism affair

Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, have continued with their restructuring programme of the club with the announcement that director of communications, Ian Cotton, will be leaving at the end of the season.

Cotton joined the club 16 years go and departs by mutual consent, and his follows the sacking of both director of football Damien Comolli and head of sports science Peter Brukner last month.

The club were widely criticised for their handling of the Luis Suarez racism case, and they endured a fractious relationship with the media over the bullish stance for a number of months.

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Liverpool's managing director, Ian Ayre, confirmed the news with a join-statement from FSG on the club's official website: "We would like to thank Ian for the important contribution he has made to the Club during his long career here.

"He has played a key role as a member of the Executive Team in managing our relationships with key external stakeholders in the media and in the community. We wish Ian every success in his future career."

Upon the announcement of his exit, Cotton added: "It has been a privilege to be at Liverpool FC for the last 16 years. I would like to thank everyone I have worked with for all their support during that time and wish this great Club all the best for the future."