- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - The chief executive of Liverpool, who restored stability to a club that was on the brink of bankruptcy six years ago, has decided to leave the role next year.

Ian Ayre oversaw the transition from the financially troubled ownership of American businessmen Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. to the takeover by John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group in 2010.

FSG, which also owns baseball’s Boston Red Sox, wanted Ayre to remain as CEO beyond the end of his current contract.

“We asked him on several occasions to take some time to reconsider his decision, but have been unable to convince him to remain as CEO beyond May 2017,” owner Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon said in a joint statement. “We will at some point in the near future begin identifying and recruiting a worthy successor to continue to build on the outstanding foundations which have been laid by Ian.

“Under his leadership, we have seen Liverpool transform from a club that was on the brink of bankruptcy, to one which today enjoys strong financial and operational health.”

Ayre first joined Liverpool under Hicks and Gillett in 2007, rising from commercial director to CEO.

“I believe the end of next season is the right time to pass the CEO baton on to a new person, who will take on the challenges and opportunities with a fresh enthusiasm and vigor,” Ayre said.

Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool is eighth in the Premier League but still in contention for the Europa League.

Liverpool won the last of its then-record 18 league titles in 1990 before Manchester United climbed to 20 titles while dominating English football from 1993 to 2013.

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