Reds to expand Asian influence

Missed penalty brings down grandstand light

According to a report in the Liverpool Echo, the five-time European champions are looking to "get closer" to the club's markets in the Far East while establishing a "physical presence" in the area.

"We opened the office in London last year to start the process of tapping into the key commercial growth markets, such as the US and Europe," Ayre told the League Managers' Association publication The Manager.
"The CEOs of the big organisations pass through London regularly on business, so it made sense to have a base there.

"The next step is to have a physical presence in Asia. We've had people working on the ground in Singapore for some years now and have engaged with our core partners, but we're looking to expand that and get closer to our commercial market there.

"Our relationship with Garuda Indonesian Airlines, who are a big sponsor, is very important to us and they now fly into London.

"It's not important to be first, it's important to do it right. From my own experience of working in Asia I know that success will come down to having local people working in local offices, in local languages, doing business locally.

"We had a similar plan in place for our media business and now have 40 social media channels in 16 or 17 languages and 40million regular followers."

Ayre was particular impressed with the way the club's owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG), who acquired the Merseyside giants during the 2010 season, have gone about their business.

"We now have a great team of people at Liverpool, who also brought with them skills from broad and largely non-football backgrounds. They are able to offer valuable different perspectives and fresh eyes," he added.

"Through our owners, Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool has also benefited from a wealth of experience, best practice, people and resources from teams in other sports and sports media.

"We get together a couple of times a year with people from other parts of the Group to share our experience of what has worked in areas such as merchandising, ticketing, and buying and selling players, so it's hugely beneficial to everyone."

Liverpool will start their pre-season with a tour to the Far East for matches in Thailand, Malaysia and Australia.