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Liverpool Said to Hire Fenway’s Billy Hogan as Head of Commerce

Liverpool has chosen Fenway Sports Management executive Billy Hogan to become the commercial director at the 18-time English soccer champion, according to two executives connected with the team.

Hogan is the managing director of the marketing arm of John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool, the Boston Red Sox and Roush Fenway Racing. He will move to Liverpool from Boston, said the people, who were granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Liverpool representatives didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Hogan didn’t reply to a voicemail.

The new hire continues a shake-up after the Reds finished eighth in England’s Premier League, the worst finish for the club in 14 years. The club fired manager Kenny Dalglish after ending the season 37 points behind champion Manchester City.

Since Henry’s investment group bought Liverpool 18 months ago, the team has also ousted Director of Football Damien Comolli, Chief Medical Officer Peter Bruckner, Communications Director Ian Cotton and Commercial Manager Graham Bartlett. Hogan will assume the role of Bartlett, a former Nike Inc. executive who lasted less than a year in his post.

Managing Director Ian Ayre will get greater responsibility over negotiating player trades and contracts, a role previously done by Comolli, one of the people said.

An official announcement confirming the arrival of Hogan will be made later this month, the people said.

Manager Search

Ayre is in charge of bringing a list of candidates for the vacant manager post to principal owner Henry and Chairman Tom Werner, added the person. The Boston-based duo has yet to start talks with any potential coach.

Former England coach Fabio Capello and Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp do not fit Liverpool’s criteria for a coach, two of the people said. U.K. media yesterday linked the pair with the Reds.

Hogan helped secure an agreement, worth a record 25 million pounds ($39.4 million) annually, to have Boston-based New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.’s Warrior Sports supply Liverpool’s jerseys, replacing Adidas AG. He has also been part of a team putting together Liverpool’s off-season tour in the U.S.

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