Damien Comolli

International Coach and Director of Football

Biography

Damien Comolli is former the Director of Football for Liverpool. He has previously worked as a football coach and scout, with AS Monaco, AS Saint-Étienne, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.He speaks fluent English, Spanish and French.

He was born in Béziers, France, and played as a youth team player at AS Monaco. In 1992, he began a successful three-year coaching job with Monaco, where he looked after the club’s Under-16 squads and won the state championship at that level. Comolli completed a law degree in 1995 and gained his French coaching licence.

In 1996 he joined Arsenal and spent seven seasons as a European scout and is credited with the discovery of several of Arsenal’s players such as Kolo Touré, Emmanuel Eboué and Gaël Clichy. Between 2004 and 2005 he was technical director of AS Saint-Étienne.[The club went through a successful period, finishing sixth in the league and reaching the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. During his time there he also oversaw a number of important first team signings and developed partnerships with junior and amateur clubs, locally, nationally and internationally.

In 2005 he became Director of Football at Tottenham Hotspur, with overall responsibility for the medical, academy, scouting and club secretarial departments, replacing the outgoing Frank Arnesen. During his time there he had several disagreements with coach Martin Jol, who, after his departure from Spurs, complained several players had been signed by Comolli without his agreement. He spent three years in the job but with Tottenham performing poorly in 2008-09 and some of Comolli’s signings coming in for criticism,[6] he was dismissed in October 2008, along with manager Juande Ramos, assistant Gus Poyet and first team coach Marcos Álvarez?. During his time at Tottenham, Comolli was responsible for Tottenham’s policy of signing some of the world’s brightest young talents, bringing players such as Gareth Bale, Alan Hutton, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Giovani dos Santos, Adel Taarabt and Younes Kaboul to the club.[8] Comolli was also responsible for the signings of current Tottenham first-team squad members Luka Modri?, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Heurelho Gomes, David Bentley (now at Birmingham City on loan), Vedran ?orluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko, as well as Dimitar Berbatov (now at Manchester United).
On 9 November 2008 it was announced that he would return to Saint-Étienne as sporting director. His appointment led to the departure of manager Laurent Roussey.

On 3 November 2010 his appointment as Director of Football Strategy at Liverpool was announced, with part of his remit being to oversee the recruitment of new players to the club. Comolli made an instant impact at Liverpool as he was responsible for the singings of two young bright talents, Luis Suárez and Andy Carroll, on January 2011’s transfer deadline day, with Carroll’s signing breaking the record for most expensive British player ever and 8th most expensive player in history, overtaking David Villa and Wayne Rooney. On 22 March 2011 Comolli was appointed as the Director of Football at Liverpool.[14][15] In an interview Comolli stated it covers pretty much the whole football side of running the football club, although he does not get involved in team training or selection.

For the 2011/12 season Comolli has helped Liverpool FC sign Jordan Henderson.

Related speakers

Sir Harpal Kumar

CEO, Cancer Research UK

Baroness (Patience) Wheatcroft

Journalist & Life Peer

David Yelland

Founder, Kitchen Table Partners

David Barral

Chairman, Vantage Finance

Sir Christopher Hum

Former Ambassador & College Head

Kerry Taylor

CMO Viacom UK & SVP, Youth and Music, Viacom International