IAN AYRE insists principal owner John W Henry remains totally committed to taking Liverpool forward.
Henry has yet to visit Anfield so far this season but the managing director says the American remains heavily involved in the running of the club.
His Fenway Sports Group business partner, chairman Tom Werner, is set to attend Saturday’s home clash with Norwich City.
“I wouldn’t read anything into John not being here,” Ayre said. “Two things, firstly he has had lot of work to do on the Boston Red Sox this year. They are approaching their pre-season now.
“Secondly, he also became a father again quite recently so he’s likely been busy changing nappies!
“I speak to John very regularly and he’s really pleased with the way things are going with the team. I know he keeps in contact with Brendan (Rodgers) regularly. I’m sure we will see him here soon.
“John’s commitment to Liverpool isn’t about him being at games. It’s about him being involved and committed and being supportive. All that happens on a consistent basis.
“We get great support from both John and Tom. I was over in Boston recently and met with all the different investors in FSG. They are greatly supportive for what we’re trying to achieve and are 100% behind us.”
Results have been mixed so far this season with the Reds standing eighth in the Premier League – nine points adrift of a Champions League spot following last weekend’s defeat to Manchester United.
When Brendan Rodgers was appointed manager last June, Henry made it clear the club were embarking on a long-term project and Ayre says FSG’s faith in the Northern Irishman remains unwavering.
“We always said this year would be about putting the right foundations in place to build something for the long term,” he added.
“It was always going to be up and down. If you could just turn it on instantly then everyone would be doing it. We’re quietly pleased with progress. From the early shoots of a better type of passing game to recent performances where you could really see it all coming together.
“There’s still work to do but we’re certainly pleased that we’re progressing. The players we’ve brought in are contributing and we’re also pleased that Brendan and his team are getting more and more out of players who were here before.
“Nobody is hiding away from the fact there is still a lot of work to do but there has been real progress made so far.
“Speaking to some of the players, they certainly feel that it’s moving forward. They are enjoying the football and hopefully that bodes well for the rest of the season.”
Ayre believes the vast majority of the club’s supporters share that optimism.
“We have had sell out games all season and fantastic support from our fans both home and away,” he said.
“Speaking to people around the city, they are pleased with the football and like what they’re seeing.
“The great thing about Liverpool fans is that they are huge big students of the game. They know what it takes to be great because this club has been very successful in the past.
“The educated fans you meet know it won’t just come in a heartbeat. No-one is expecting an overnight turnaround in form to get to the level of winning the league, but as long as they can see us making progress and chipping away at that gap then people will buy into it which they are.
“As long as Brendan and the team keep improving on that and keep showing their commitment to that I’m certain our fans will be behind that.
“We will keep investing and adding to the group. Ultimately we will get to where we want to get to.”