Liverpool puppet-master Michael Edwards has ALREADY stripped Slot of his power

To say Liverpool have gone all in on Michael Edwards would be a bit of an understatement. 

The club created an entirely new role, the CEO of Football for FSG, for their former sporting director in a bid to lure him back to Anfield. In doing so, he was essentially made the kingmaker at one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

He immediately went about hiring, and in some cases rehiring, people he trusted and valued.

Richard Hughes, a man he’s known since his days as an analyst at Portsmouth, was brought in as the sporting director.

Julian Ward, Edwards’ original successor at Anfield, has returned as technical director for FSG while Pedro Marques, formerly of Benfica, arrived as director of football development.

David Woodfine also rejoined Liverpool, taking on the role of assistant sporting director.

Mark Burchill, another former Pompey player, is expected to follow Hughes from Bournemouth, where he is their Chief Scout, to Anfield along with Craig McKee.

Slot is head coach, not manager

This new-look Liverpool hierarchy is made up of people Edwards is very familiar with. The only external hire is Marques. He has insulated himself with close allies while ensuring the new set-up keeps the new head coach at arm's length.

Arne Slot isn’t the new Liverpool manager. He’s the new head coach. This has been a key point in every piece of Slot-related content over the past couple of weeks.

The Athletic included this line in their breakdown of how the Dutch tactician ended up as the top pick for the Reds.

"Slot agreed terms on a three-year deal, having told Liverpool he was comfortable with the title of head coach rather than manager in a new-look hierarchy at Anfield which sees him answer to Hughes and Fenway Sports Group’s CEO of football Michael Edwards."

In the previous set-up, Jurgen Klopp was initially involved in the final decision-making process. Towards the end of his tenure, he was the final decision-maker if reports are to be believed.

Will Slot accept lack of power?

Paul Joyce of The Times revealed the German pushed for Darwin Nunez while the recruitment team favoured Christopher Nkunku. There were also claims that sporting directors turned down the job due to Klopp’s increased power off of the pitch.

It is clear that Edwards didn’t want a repeat of that. He didn’t want a manager meddling in the business side of things and wanted them to focus solely on coaching.

Before he’s even officially started at Liverpool, Slot has already been stripped of power. He’s content with this, for now. But is it a sustainable model? At some point, the former Feyenoord boss isn’t going to agree with a decision and he’s going to feel powerless if his opinion isn’t valued.

Liverpool FC Richard Hughes, Michael Edwards

It's a massive summer for Richard Hughes and Michael Edwards.

Should there really be such a divide between those running the club away from the pitch and those tasked with ensuring success on the pitch? Because like it or not, there is a divide. For this model to work, there needs to be.

Slot, just like with Klopp, needs to get that extra 10 percent out of players and the only way he can do that is by striking up a bond with them. That bond makes it difficult to remove sentiment from decisions. That is what the former Liverpool boss struggled with.

But this model requires ruthlessness, and Edwards and Hughes will keep a distance from the players so tough decisions can be made. It won’t be anything personal, it will be business.

Liverpool's new extreme design

It is an extreme design. But it needs to be in order to be successful. But it is also a design that gives some insight into just how burnt Edwards was last time out. One that also has the potential to cause just as many problems as the previous set-up.

A problem hinted at by many is that a number of those involved at the club were loyal to Klopp.  This is backed up by so many departures this summer.

The Reds are rebuilding behind the scenes but a number of key positions have been taken by people who have been handpicked by Edwards.

They’re going to be loyal to him so if ever there comes a day he leaves,  there could well be another mass exodus. And while these might be the best people for the jobs right now, the optics aren’t favourable when they all have ties to the former sporting director.

In ensuring there won’t be another Klopp-like situation, Edwards has almost copied the German tactician's blueprint in ensuring he’s the puppet master at the club. It could go one of two ways, but did it really have to be this extreme?

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