Nashville’s MLS club to be led by former Liverpool and 2016 fcbusiness Premier League CEO of the Year, Ian Ayre.

Nashville MLS has announced the appointment of Ian Ayre as Chief Executive Officer. Ayre, formerly Chief Executive of Liverpool Football Club, will assume the responsibility of building and leading the Nashville MLS club. 



“We are committed to bringing world-class soccer to Nashville, as evidenced by the appointment of Ian as our CEO,” said John Ingram, lead owner, Nashville MLS.


“Ian understands our vision for Nashville MLS and has the skill and experience to bring the best in soccer to our city.


“His passion for the sport and the business of the game, along with his progressive approach and commitment to community, will help us create Nashville’s MLS club while elevating soccer in Music City and MLS. I’m delighted to welcome him to Nashville and our club!”  


Ayre has an extensive background in sports, media and technology, most recently as Chief Executive of Liverpool Football Club. During his 10-year tenure with the club, he was responsible for rebuilding the organisation at all levels. After initially securing a record-breaking sponsorship deal for the club, he went on to restructure the entire commercial, operational and football elements of the business as well as oversee the successful $160 million stadium expansion. 


Ayre was directly responsible for all player transfer negotiations, including contract negotiations on more than 100 player contracts (acquisitions, sales, loans, extensions),  including Phillipe Coutinho, Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Roberto Firmino, Raheem Sterling and Sadio Manè. He also worked with five leading coaches – Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp.


During his time at Liverpool, Ian served on the UEFA Competitions Committee as an elected member and in 2016 was voted fcbusiness Premier League CEO of the Year at the Football Business Awards


“The opportunity to put Nashville on the national and international soccer map is a truly outstanding challenge, and I literally cannot wait to get started,” said Ayre.



“Becoming chief executive officer of the Nashville MLS club is a unique opportunity in the global soccer community. To take what is essentially a blank sheet of paper and build an entire club is an amazing challenge, and one I am hugely excited about.” 


Nashville was awarded Major League Soccer’s 24th club in December 2017, and enthusiasm for soccer continues to grow in Music City. CONCACAF recently announced Nashville as a host city of the 2019 Gold Cup. Nashville Soccer Club, the city’s USL club, launched in spring 2018.


“In my experience, the key to success in building sports clubs is to create a bond and unity between the owners, the team and the fans,” said Ayre.


“It’s clear to me that Nashville and its people not only have a true love of sports, but an enormous sense of civic pride for their city. These are the ingredients you need to build a great club.”


Following his 10-year tenure at Liverpool Football Club, Ayre served briefly as managing director at 1860 Munich in Germany. He and his family will be relocating to Nashville this summer. 


Image: PA Images