Ayre: Europe not vital to Reds

Ayre, promoted to be Liverpool’s managing director this month,

admitted that failure to reach the Champions League or Europa

League will hit the club in the pocket but that their commercial

success meant they could cope with missing out. Liverpool would

have to finish fifth in the Premier League to guarantee European

football and Ayre said: “There’s no hiding from the fact that if

you don’t participate in European football then it is a big hit to

your revenues. “At the same time a football club like Liverpool is

an institution that has been around for many, many years and

commercially is significantly ahead of most of its competitors,

other than one [Manchester United]. “Our revenues and the way we

govern our business is absolutely geared to be able to survive and

continue to prosper without European football but that’s not to say

we don’t want it.” Gavin Laws, head of corporate affairs at the

club’s shirt sponsors Standard Chartered, insisted they were

comfortable with Liverpool’s absence from the Champions League. He

told the Soccerex conference in Manchester: “The on-field

performance is nice to have, but for us as a sponsor the Champions

League is not that important to us because it happens at a time

most of Asia is fast asleep.” Ayre added that the American owners

were not demanding instant success. He added: “We are a football

team and we want to win and John Henry said that on the first day,

but he’s also been on the record as saying it’s not about winning

once, it’s about getting back to winning on a consistent basis.

“It’s what the foundations of Liverpool were built on in the 60s,

70s and 1980s. “Will that happen again overnight? Probably not, but

will we create something that has a strong foundation and the

ability to continue to prosper? Absolutely. “They are very

supportive, they have done it before in baseball, and will do it

again, I’m absolutely certain of that.” Ayre refused to be drawn on

caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish’s long-term future in charge of

the side but said he would always be part of the “fabric” of

Liverpool. He added: “There’s been a lot of questions around that

but there is no person at Liverpool football club that doesn’t

think Kenny Dalglish is part of the fabric of the club. “But as to

Kenny’s long-term position that’s between Kenny and the football

club.”