New Nashville CEO Ian Ayre lauds MLS: “It is actually coming into its personal”

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Even whereas guiding one of many prime franchises within the English Premier League, Ian Ayre has been protecting tabs on the progress of Main League Soccer throughout the pond.

Beginning at the moment, he’ll be a part of MLS’s continued progress.

Ayre, previously chief govt of the EPL’s Liverpool Soccer Membership, was introduced as CEO of Nashville MLS on Monday. He’ll assume obligations for the forthcoming growth membership on the sphere and within the enterprise sector.

“I believe when you have a look at MLS, significantly over the past 5 years, its trajectory has all the time been upward,” Ayre mentioned. “Watching from afar and residing within the UK, all people has one eye on it as a result of it is actually coming into its personal.

“You may see progress each in revenues and high quality of gamers being developed domestically and coming in internationally,” he continued. “As well as, there’s the scale of the attendances and the crowds, so it is all very optimistic and a chance to construct one thing, and to be part of that was an attraction.”

Ayre spent 10 years at Liverpool, ultimately changing into that membership’s CEO, the place he was liable for all participant switch negotiations, together with contract negotiations for the likes of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Roberto Firmino.

He hopes his many contacts will profit the brand new Nashville group, which was formally introduced in December as a part of the newest spherical of MLS growth.

“Whether or not we’re recruiting in Europe, South America, North America, I’ve contacts by way of my complete profession, actually,” mentioned Ayre, who stepped down from his place in Liverpool a few 12 months in the past. “However I definitely do not have a specific view of the place gamers may come from at this stage. It is a huge extensive world loads of expertise on the market.”

John Ingram, lead proprietor of Nashville MLS, mentioned the membership focused Ayre by way of use of the Nolan Companions search agency.

“Ian understands out imaginative and prescient for Nashville MLS and has the talent and expertise to convey the very best in soccer to our metropolis,” Ingram mentioned. “His ardour for the game and the enterprise of the sport, alongside together with his progressive strategy and dedication to neighborhood, will assist us create Nashville’s MLS membership.”

Ayre mentioned a few of his preliminary priorities will embrace hiring a basic supervisor, formulating a marketing strategy for the franchise and specializing in varied infrastructure tasks. He and Ingram have additionally began speaking about the way forward for Nashville SC, which is in its first season within the United Soccer League.

A Liverpool native, Ayre had by no means visited Nashville earlier than the courting course of started in Music Metropolis a few months in the past. However Ayre mentioned he finds Nashville’s ardour for its sports activities, its music and its metropolis paying homage to Liverpool.

Ayre really wrapped up his opening remarks with a reference to a different Liverpudlian, John Lennon.

“John mentioned, ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream, however a dream you dream collectively is a actuality,’” Ayre mentioned. “So I sit up for making this a actuality with all of you in Nashville.”

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