Liverpool Football Club have now announced officially that CEO Rick Parry is to leave.
The official announcement was made on the club’s website just after 10am, and confirmed he will “leave Anfield at the end of the current season.”
It said that Parry would stay on until the end of the season “in order for a smooth transition to take place”.
There were comments from the two co-owners. Tom Hicks made no secret of his desire to see Parry leave when he spoke out last spring about a list of concerns. Today Hicks was quoted as saying: “Rick’s commitment to Liverpool Football Club is epitomised by his desire to ensure that this transitional period is managed efficiently and we are grateful to him for his help. He will always remain a friend of the football club.”
His main ally at the club in the last 18 months or so has been George Gillett. Gillett refused to vote with Hicks to force Parry to resign last spring, but for reasons unstated he is no longer standing in the way. He said: “I would like to thank Rick for his significant service to the Club and the assistance he has given us since we joined Liverpool. He has been integral to the club’s success over the past decade and leaves with our best wishes for the future.””
The man himself, who left a role as CEO of the Premier League to take up the post at the club he’s always supported, spoke with dignity: “I have had 12 very exciting years at Liverpool and am extremely proud of what has been achieved by the Club over that period,” said Parry. “The victory in Madrid was a wonderful reminder of the many high points we have experienced and adds to the moments that make Liverpool and its magnificent fans so special.”
He went on: “It has been a privilege to serve the Club and as a lifelong supporter I wish the owners, Rafa, the players and the wonderful staff all the very best for the future. I will be leaving at the end of the season knowing that the Club remains strong and with a set of supporters who deserve success in all that Liverpool does.”
Speculation that Ian Ayre would be promoted in place of Parry was also played down in the official announcement, which pointed that “the Board will initiate a search for a new Chief Executive and will update supporters and other stakeholders when appropriate”.
Announcement in full: