Liverpool FC Appoint Jorg Schmadtke as Sporting Director
Liverpool FC, via the official club website, have confirmed the appointment of Jorg Schmadtke as the new Sporting Director. A well-respected figure in the football industry, Schmadtke arrives at Anfield following a fruitful four-year tenure with Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.
The Man behind the Name: Jorg Schmadtke
Whilst unfamiliar to many Liverpool fans, Jorg Schmadtke is not a new name in footballing circles. The German, 59, is a former professional goalkeeper who hung his gloves in 1998 after playing almost 300 Bundesliga matches. His clubs included Fortuna Dusseldorf, Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen, and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Transitioning smoothly into management, Schmadtke has had successful spells in similar positions at Cologne, Hannover, and Alemannia Aachen, before joining Wolfsburg. He left the German side at the start of 2023.
As of June 1, Schmadtke will officially take over the role of Sporting Director from Julian Ward. This, however, is contingent on the successful completion of work permit formalities. Ward, who has been with Liverpool for over a decade, is due to leave this summer.
The Reds recruited Ward into their scouting and recruitment team back in October 2012. He eventually progressed into the newly established role of loan pathways and football partnerships manager, before becoming assistant sporting director, and ultimately stepping up to the senior role of sporting director after the 2021-22 season with the departure of Michael Edwards.
A Warm Welcome and a Fond Farewell
Mike Gordon, Fenway Sports Group president, expressed his anticipation of Schmadtke’s arrival:
“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.”
He also highlighted the importance of Schmadtke’s role in supporting the football operations department and Jürgen Klopp, in line with Liverpool’s commitment to continuous growth and development.
But as the club welcomes Schmadtke, they also bid adieu to Julian Ward.
“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,” Gordon said.