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Martinez turns down Liverpool over plans for three sporting directors

Martinez turns down Liverpool over plans for three sporting directors


The Reds' American owners are preparing a major restructure of managerial affairs, leaving Brendan Rodgers the clear favourite to replace Kenny Dalglish at Anfield

By Greg Stobart & Wayne Veysey

Roberto Martinez ruled himself out of contention to manage Liverpool because of the club’s plans for an inflated new management structure, can reveal.

The Reds want a tier of three directors to take up the duties performed by former director of football Damien Comolli in a pioneering plan to make their operations more effective.

Martinez, however, was not willing to work under three men, plus managing director Ian Ayre, and the Wigan boss informed Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) on Tuesday that he would not join the club.

It leaves Brendan Rodgers in line to take over at Anfield, with a fresh approach for the Northern Irishman expected in the next few days.

The Swansea manager is prepared to work within Liverpool’s proposed structure and fits FSG’s vision for a young, dynamic manager who is capable of introducing a footballing ethos which runs through all levels at the club. understands Liverpool’s groundbreaking plan is to employ one executive to oversee statistics, another whose role will be to conduct negotiations and a third ‘football man’ with contacts within the game.

FSG has already interviewed four candidates to take on the duties, with current Head of Analytics Michael Edwards set for a promotion to take charge of the ‘Moneyball’ concept of finding value in the transfer market based on statistics. Edwards was previously a performance analyst at Tottenham and Portsmouth.

Louis van Gaal remains the outstanding candidate to take on the more traditional sporting director duties given his wealth of experience, his knowledge of players and his worldwide contacts.

Rodgers is believed to have told Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins that he would like to take over at Anfield during a two-hour meeting on Tuesday.

That came shortly after Martinez turned down the job, believing his power and control over the football side of the club would be too diluted for him to realise his vision to bring regular Champions League football back to Anfield.

Martinez, 38, still feels ready for a new challenge and remains a leading candidate for the vacancy at Aston Villa.

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