|Job||CEO of Aston Villa|
|CEO of Chelsea [ex]|
|CEO of Liverpool [ex]|
|Liverpool FC [ex]|
- 2009 Summer
- Christian Purslow, financial expert and Liverpool supporter, is appointed as managing director. His brief is to find £100m of fresh investment, which will help satisfy Liverpool’s creditors. The playing side suffers, with Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa sold, and Alberto Aquilani and Glen Johnson added, but further funds are denied.
2010 10 10 Retrieve
[Liverpool’s Chief Executive Christian Purslow is still positive that the £300 million sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures will still occur despite the threat of a nine point deduction for going into administration] My total priority has been to try to remove the debt which has been put on this club and which has been a cloud since February 2007. It is wrong that we should have so much of the money that comes through the turnstiles or through our commercial activity goes to pay interest on loans. A bidder who has been willing with cash to rid of us of all this long-term debt is by far the largest and most important priority in evaluating bids. We have done our homework and NESV [is] buying this business with cash and clearing our debt which transforms our financial position overnight
[But Purslow is not worried about the threat of administration and is more focused on football aspects and turning the fortunes of the club around] Last Monday we had two very good offers to buy our business that would clear all our debts and I am completely focused on making sure that the sale completes. They (NESV) see a number of parallels with the Red Sox when they purchased them and Liverpool today, and the word that jumps off the page every time we sit with them is ‘winning’.
They see winning on the field is linked to how you perform commercially off the field. They go hand in hand. It is extremely enjoyable to make sports clubs more successful. Whether you are a poor or a rich sports fan, winning is great fun and I sense both of those things when we meet with these people. They approached us. They met our chairman. He was immediately struck with their seriousness and the entire senior management team of NESV came to Liverpool. They spent a large amount of time in the club doing their work and those are important signs of people’s seriousness in the transaction business.
[The Chief Executive also felt that the NESV front man John W Henry would supply the cash needed to make the club great again and play a more prominent role in proceedings at Anfield] You don’t spend £300m on buying a sports team for it to be a mediocre team. If they buy Liverpool I would expect them to be very visible around the business. They are serious people; they are deadly serious about wanting to succeed. I can’t imagine they’d be hands-off for one minute
Our fans have felt much disenfranchised by the experience of the last three years. One thing I really liked about NESV is they are serious about the importance of engaging with their fans. I’ve asked them to consider a scheme at our club that will give our fans a real sense of ownership, a real sense of inclusion, the kind of voice they deserve and NESV have told us they’ll look at this very seriously if they complete. It’s not been easy with the current owners – tensions have been high and so that side of things has been difficult but now that we have potential new ownership I don’t want to miss the opportunity to make sure that our fans never again feel so disenfranchised. The most important principle is that fans need to feel that they have a means to express their views and to be listened to and the sense of ownership obviously is the most extreme example of that.
[Purslow also urged Hicks and Gillett to drop the court case and walk away from Anfield with any dignity remaining] Right now they do have an opportunity with one simple short correspondence today to allow a sale to complete and that would clear the club of all the acquisition debt and give us a massive lift before the Everton game [next Sunday]. A fresh start and real hope for our fans and players that we can get back to the top. That’s in their gift and would enable them to leave with some dignity and some peace rather than precipitating a messy dispute. I hope they’ll think about that
[And the chief executive refuted claims that Hodgson would not be a part of the new regime, however he was unsure of issues surrounding Anfield] We’ve shown NESV all the plans around the stadium that we have planning permission for in Stanley Park. They know we believe this is the way forward and have been very impressed by that. It has been a key ingredient in attracting them to Liverpool. A bit too much has been made that when they bought the Red Sox they refurbished the existing stadium. In fact, the same ownership group [with] two previous teams built new stadiums in Baltimore and San Diego. It’s simple, given that a new owner will be paying for a new stadium it is entirely reasonable and their prerogative that when they get here they want to pull up the carpets, fine-tune the detail that we are proposing and make their final decision. They want to increase the capacity of Liverpool Football Club.
2010 10 15 Retrieve
[Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow admits clearing club debt was the main priority] The most important thing is that NESV have cleared us of all the debts which, frankly, shouldn’t have been on the club in the first place.
They’ve done so in a way which leads me to believe that they will learn the lessons of the past and approach the challenge of owning Liverpool Football Club in a way which I think our fans will judge over time and which I’m optimistic will prove to be a very positive improvement on what we’ve been through recently
[Purslow revealed his sense of pride after being able to finally resolve the takeover, despite the legal action taken against them and the all-important deadline of repaying RBS the acquisitioned debt] Given how this is right up against a deadline which could have had very serious implications for our football club, I’m hugely relieved, hugely pleased to have got over the finishing line. I wish it hadn’t taken as long and I wish it hadn’t had the twists and turns along the way, but it’s very pleasing to get the job done
2014 02 20 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow believes Manchester United may never get back into the Champions League if they fail to qualify for two consecutive seasons] If you qualify for the Champions League you stand to make around £30 million (€36m). Next year, when that BT Sport [Champions League television rights] deal kicks in, that figure will probably double. In other words the difference between fourth and fifth place in the Premier League may be between £50-60m (€60m-73m) a year. That affects Manchester United the most. They don’t look like they’re going to be there this year. It gives Moyes and [chief executive] Edward Woodward a year to get their act together. They can live with a £30m (€36m) disadvantage for one year but, in another year’s time, if they miss out [again], they may never get back [in the Champions League].
2017 02 18 Retrieve
[Chelsea managing director Purslow steps down] I am proud of what we have all achieved, with Chelsea now enjoying great success off the field as well as on it and a commercial team in place to help cement Chelsea’s position at the top of the game
2017 10 10 Retrieve
[Former Reds CEO Christian Purslow believes there is no better manager to take on the challenge of competing with the elite on a limited budget] He’s two years into this job that looked to be perfect for Jurgen Klopp. There are great similarities between what he achieved at Dortmund, what he was expected to achieve - which was to compete with an absolute behemoth in Bayern Munich, while spending less money, both on wages and in the transfer market. That is the job description at Liverpool.
[Purslow added on Liverpool having to compete with big spenders such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City] There are revenue differences between Manchester United and Liverpool. Liverpool’s are still superb but they are a fraction of Manchester United. And yet the Liverpool manager is expected to compete with United and beat them, exactly as Klopp did - winning two league titles in Germany against Bayern Munich with a fraction of their spending. He is perfect for Liverpool. It is an innately difficult project, to compete with less money
2018 01 30 Retrieve
[Former managing director of the Reds, Christian Purslow, has accused John W Henry and Fenway Sports Group of prioritising money over on-field success over Coutinho sale] fans don’t care about bank balances, they care about winning.
It’s quite exceptional to see a top team in contention in two important trophies (the Champions League and the FA Cup), and obviously the day-to-day business of making sure you’re in the top four. They’re all very, very live season challenges Liverpool face.
To effectively put money in the bank and take a player away - any football expert would say the likelihood of winning the Champions League without him has reduced, the likelihood of coming fourth is reduced, and they have already gone out of the FA Cup - is in pure footballing terms, a gamble.
Strategy and business is a very artificial separation because this sport centres around what happens on the field. There’s no use to Liverpool strategically to consistently not win trophies and, God forbid, not get top four
I would have thought the businessmen in the ownership group would not have needed to have taken that gamble. I would have expected – if they needed to give the player certainty, that he was going to fulfil his dream and go to Barcelona – then the deal could have been done with either money now with a loan back, or a contract deferred delivery of player and money in May
This player is a starter for Brazil, playing brilliantly. If Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all in for Coutinho on the back of a World Cup, this player may have been £200 million. The winners were Barcelona, the losers were Liverpool – other than their bank balance. Fans don’t care about bank balances, they care about winning.
We saw Xabi Alonso go to Real Madrid, we saw Javier Mascherano go to Barcelona – they do go eventually. What we’re debating is whether Coutinho was always going to end up at Barcelona, we’re debating why they would take that money and risk in January.
Klopp project is two-and-a half-years underway here and probably the next step in Jurgen’s success would be a trophy. Liverpool have the makings of a really dangerous team in the Champions League. Home second leg in the knockout stages? Nobody wants to go there even defending a one or two-goal lead. (If you reach) the last eight of the Champions League, anything can happen. But one thing is for certain, it’s less likely without Coutinho. I would have thought Fenway would have prioritised winning that
2018 06 02 Retrieve
[Klopp has been mentioned as a possible successor to Zinedine Zidane, but Christian Purslow thinks he’ll remain at Anfield] The key difference I think for the last five, 10, 15, 20 years, is the sheer amount of wealth in the Premier League means there’s no economic reason for those managers to move to Real Madrid.
It boils down to prestige, trophies and where they see the potential of their current situation. There is no way I think Jurgen Klopp is going to be tempted to move given the season he’s just come off
I’m less certain about Pochettino. I saw his comments and he didn’t exactly dismiss it. He’s got a long-term contract - well done Daniel Levy. It would cost Madrid a huge amount of money to sign Pochettino, to break that contract. But I think if they offer Spurs £50 million and he wanted to go, stranger things have happened in football.
2019 08 08 Retrieve
[John McGinn has brought talk of a possible move away from Aston Villa to a close by penning a new five-year contract with the club] We are delighted to secure John’s services for the long term at Aston Villa. He is the type of player Dean Smith and our ownership group want to build our club around: young, determined, athletic, technically-gifted and passionate about winning
2019 11 17 Retrieve
[Will VAR be scrapped for Premier League after 2019-20 controversies?] The message has got through to the league and to the referees’ association that fans are unhappy, and many stakeholders in the game think we have to do a whole lot better
2020 04 25 Retrieve
[Chelsea fail to agree wage reduction with players] Our players and staff feel great solidarity with the many clubs in the football pyramid who have financial problems and we believe it is right and proper that the Premier League as a whole takes action on its finances collectively to enable it to be able to continue to provide vital funding throughout the game in England
2020 04 25 Retrieve
[Aston Villa players to take 25 per cent wage cut for four months. Villa have now confirmed their players have agreed to a wage cut, with club CEO Christian Purslow saying the measure will] protect the livelihoods of our precious staff and their families. First-team players, first-team coaches and senior management have all agreed to defer 25% of their salaries for four months to assist the club during this period of uncertainty with a further review taking place at the end of this period
Our players and staff feel great solidarity with the many clubs in the football pyramid who have financial problems and we believe it is right and proper that the Premier League as a whole takes action on its finances collectively to enable it to be able to continue to provide vital funding throughout the game in England
Stay Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives
The decision we made was in the best interests of the club and its staff. We’ve been very transparent that we’re run in a self-financed manner. Ultimately, if we had the available cash flow to not have to take up schemes then, like other football clubs have, we would
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[Aston Villa’s chief executive Christian Purslow has admitted that Premier League clubs are nowhere near having found the formula to complete the season, but remains committed to seeing out the remaining games of the 2019-20 campaign] We’re nowhere near having found the formula to complete the season. I’m told how keen government are to get football back. I remain of the view that we’re going to complete this season and it’s a question of ‘when and how?’ Not ‘if’.
I have to look after my club’s interests. But there is a duty on 20 Premier League clubs to find a formulation that we know is nowhere near perfect but gets football back to complete the 19-20 season so that crucial issues at the top of the table can be resolved but that doesn’t ask people to agree to incredibly damaging changes for their own particular clubs. I don’t think neutral venues is by any means the only issue that needs to be resolved that goes to the heart of ‘is this still a competition everybody signed up to’. It’s about anything and everything to do with full-strength sides and squads. What happens with sick players, or players who are symptomatic, that ultimately means you’re weakening teams.
There are a lot of teams mathematically capable of going down whose squads can’t survive three or four players failing ill, not being able to play. If Villa had to a play a match without [Jack] Grealish, [Tyrone] Mings and [John] McGinn the chances of winning that game reduce enormously. I don’t know what the solution is. I’d obviously like a rule that says we don’t have to play if our best players had Covid. We’re trying to complete a league quite quickly to give our broadcasters a product they want to show but how does it really work if after two games everybody’s off? You tell me