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John Henry ‘needed convincing’ to sign brilliant Liverpool striker by ‘useless’ sporting director

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Damien Comolli left his role as Liverpool’s director of football by mutual consent back in April 2012

Former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has claimed that he had to ‘convince’ Fenway Sports Group to buy Luis Suarez.

Comolli has also revealed that he was ‘useless’ at communicating with FSG and believes more talks could have resulted in him staying in the role. The Frenchman joined Liverpool as director of football strategy in November 2010 before becoming director of football two years later.

However, the Reds announced in April 2013 that Comolli would be leaving the club with immediate effect. The news came just two days before an FA Cup semi-final against Everton, with the Frenchmen appearing to pay the price for the club’s under-performing summer additions.

Comolli played a key role in the signings of Suarez and Andy Carroll, following the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea. He also oversaw the club’s spending spree during the summer transfer window in 2011, which saw the likes of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates all move to Anfield.

And now reflecting on his time at Liverpool, Comolli, who is now director of football at Toulouse and will return to Anfield when the French side face the Reds in the Europa League on Thursday night, has revealed he had to ‘convince’ FSG to sign the Uruguay international, who went on to become one of the best players in the world.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he revealed: “You have to remind people you are doing a good job, and you need to manage up.

“You need to constantly sell your project and keep the ownership on board. I was useless at it. Which sporting director gets fired after winning the [League] Cup and being in the FA Cup final with no money?

“I had to convince John Henry [FSG principal owner] to lend money to buy Luis Suarez. We were skint. We won the first trophy since 2006, and I got fired.

“If I was good at communicating up and outwards, I don’t know if I would still be in a job, [but] I would have been in a different situation.”

 

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