Ian Ayre names the ex-Liverpool stars that have been crucial in current success

Former Liverpool CEO and Managing Director Ian Ayre has outlined a number of key players and managers that have proved vital to bringing about the club's current success.

Ayre joined Liverpool in 2007 and was appointed as Managing Director in 2011 by the company now known as Fenway Sports Group (FSG), which bought the club in October 2010.

It has now been nine-and-a-half years since FSG completed their takeover and Ayre spent three of those years as CEO, helping bring about the appointment of Jurgen Klopp in October 2015.

And Ayre, now serving as CEO of Major League Soccer club Nashville, named some players and personnel that have been key to Liverpool's current success.

"I feel that from the time FSG arrived and the process from Kenny (Dalglish), Brendan (Rodgers) and Jurgen, it's been an evolution not a revolution," he told the PA news agency.

"So many good people have made a contribution to the club's return to glory and I think that says a lot about having a plan, staying on track and recognising that as the Beatles said 'it's a long and winding road'.

"Other people have and will come and go on and off the pitch, but the people who went through the hard yards to get where they have made big contributions.

"Even looking at the team week in week out now people like Jordan Henderson have had a long journey and others like (Steven) Gerrard, (Luis) Suarez, (Philippe) Coutinho and many others, might not be around but they played their part in building the whole thing up."

Ayre also discussed the importance of the club's work off the pitch, such as infrastructure improvements, saying: "Other less obvious parts like the big commercial transformation and the building of the new Main Stand are all massively important if you want to compete at the top and a lot of that work had to be done against a backdrop of less successful football.

"John Henry told me right at the start 'we want to build this up to win – and keep winning'. I'd say he's kept his word."

Reflecting on his time at Liverpool, Ayre added: "I am and was hugely proud of my 10 years at the club.

"I am most pleased for all the people still there who were there with me, who made a huge contribution to what is going on today, and some who moved on.

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