German Jorg Schmadtke named Liverpool sporting director

German Jorg Schmadtke has been appointed as Liverpool’s new sporting director.

The 59-year-old, who left a similar role at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg at the beginning of 2023 after more than four years, will take up his post on June 1 once work permit formalities have been completed.

He will replace Julian Ward, who is due to leave the club this summer after more than a decade.

Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon told the club’s website: “Firstly, I would like to welcome Jorg to Liverpool Football Club in the knowledge that he will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience into a role in which such qualities can only be beneficial both to him and us.

“Jorg will work with our football operations department as it continues to provide support for Jurgen Klopp, in keeping with our ongoing endeavour to keep growing and developing the club in all areas.

“At the same time as we welcome Jorg, we must also bid a fond farewell to Julian Ward, who has served us with unstinting diligence, fortitude and energy in a number of roles, the most recent one being sporting director.

“We wish Julian and his young family the very best for the future and thank him for everything he has done for Liverpool FC during the past 11 years.”

Former goalkeeper Schmadtke made more than 300 Bundesliga appearances for Fortuna Dusseldorf, Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach during his playing career before moving into administration.

He had spells at Cologne, Hannover and Alemannia Aachen before joining Wolfsburg.

Schmadtke joins a club which, by compatriot Klopp’s admission, endured “a bad season”, finishing fifth in the Premier League and missing out on Champions League football next term as a result.