Friday, November 5, 2010
Liverpool hires Damien Comolli
LIVERPOOL, England -- Liverpool owner John Henry did not consult manager Roy Hodgson before appointing Damien Comolli to a new role of director of soccer strategy.
Comolli, a friend of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, held a similar role at Tottenham for three years until 2008 and is set to work alongside Hodgson on matters such as approving player transfers and squad development.
Hodgson has worked solo for much of his career but Henry said on Friday that the veteran English coach supported the move to bring in the Frenchman from Saint-Etienne.
"I really didn't talk that much with Roy over the week or so before we made the decision to bring Damien in," Henry said. "I think he may have been surprised when I brought it up a couple of days before we brought in Damien. But he was fully supportive. He knows Damien.
"The model really requires people of certain personalities for it to work and Roy and Damien are two personalities who will mesh well together."
Comolli held a similar role at Tottenham but reportedly clashed with manager Martin Jol before the Dutchman was fired. Comolli left the London club when his favored replacement, Juande Ramos, failed to live up to expectations.
Hodgson previously said he expects to retain the final decision over player transfers but that may now change.
"It'll be a group decision," Henry told Sky Sports News. "You build consensus. I think that's a very good model. But they'll each be in charge of their own areas."
But Henry insisted that he would borrow heavily only to fund stadium construction, not make big-money player transfers.
Former owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks were reviled by fans for loading debt onto the club to fund their 2007 takeover and Henry has no plans to sacrifice his current high standing by following suit.
"We need more depth, we need to build the squad, we need stadium changes whether we build a new ground at Stanley Park or we rebuild, refurbish Anfield," Henry said. "That's going to take investment. If you build a stadium there's debt involved in that. Even Arsenal had to borrow to build Emirates.
"But you cannot sustain a club in the long term by borrowing to buy players."