LIVERPOOL shirt sponsors Standard Charter are hoping the club sign up an Asian star to boost commercial opportunities in the Far East.
Gavin Laws, head of corporate affairs at Standard Charter, hailed the impact of Manchester United’s South Korean international Park Ji-sung in the region and believes signing a similar talent would be an ideal way for the Reds to connect with the Asian market.
“The real power for what Liverpool could do for us, and I think for the English Premier League, is if there was a way they could nurture foreign players from Asia ... a great Asian player - you see what Park Ji-sung does for Manchester United,” he said.
“The markets in Asia and the Middle East are so nationalistic, they are very proud about their countries. One appearance from a player, say from Dubai in the Premier League, and you’d have the whole of Dubai watching it.”
Laws wants to see Kenny Dalglish signed up as the Reds’ permanent manager.
He said: “I’d like to see Kenny as the long term manager - I’m sure the club would. They are going to be talking to him if they aren’t talking to him already.
“The Kenny magic is all around the world, everybody believes Kenny can take the club (forward) and that means they stay focused and that means they stay in the newspapers around the world... we are looking for brand awareness.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre insists the club does not need European football to break even financially. He admitted that failure to reach the Champions League or Europa League will hit the club in the pocket but that their commercial success meant they could cope.
Liverpool would have to finish fifth in the Premier League to guarantee European football and Ayre said: “There’s no hiding from the fact that if you don’t participate in European football then it is a big hit to your revenues.
“At the same time a football club like Liverpool is an institution that has been around for many, many years and commercially is significantly ahead of most of its competitors, other than one (Manchester United).
“Our revenues and the way we govern our business is absolutely geared to be able to survive and continue to prosper without European football but that’s not to say we don’t want it.”
Ayre added: “We want to win and John Henry said that on the first day, but he’s also been on the record as saying it’s not about winning once, it’s about getting back to winning on a consistent basis. It’s what the foundations of Liverpool were built on in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
“Will that happen again overnight? Probably not, but will we create something that has a strong foundation and the ability to continue to prosper? Absolutely.”