Liverpool FC owner Fenway Sports Group pays tribute to Jürgen Klopp following his announcement that he is to quit but insisted it will be ‘business as usual’ for the rest of the season. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool FC owner Fenway Sports Group (FSG) insists it will be “business as usual” at the club despite the shock announcement that Jürgen Klopp is to quit at the end of the season.
In a statement on Friday morning, the German coach shocked Liverpool fans, and the entire football world, when he revealed this season at Anfield will be his final one at the club.
Appointed to replace previous head coach Brendan Rogers in 2015, Klopp brought back the glory days for the Reds winning every major honour, including the Premier League and the Champions League.
His achievements have been all the more remarkable in an environment where Liverpool FC has been consistently outspent in the transfer market by clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea.
Klopp said on Friday that he was “running out of energy” due to the never-ending intensity of being at the helm of one of the most passionately supported football clubs in the world. He had informed the club of his decision last November.
He explained: “When we sat there together talking about potential signings, the next summer camp and can we go wherever, the thought came up, ‘I am not sure I am here then anymore’ and I was surprised myself by that. I obviously start thinking about it.
“… If you ask me, ‘Will you ever work as a manager again?’ I would say now no. But I don’t know obviously how that will feel because I never had the situation. What I know definitely – I will never, ever manage a different club in England than Liverpool.”
Mike Gordon, president of FSG, said: “First and foremost, on behalf of John Henry and Tom Werner, I would like to state our profound appreciation for Jürgen.
It goes without saying that we will be hugely saddened to lose not just a manager of such calibre, but a person and leader for whom we have enormous respect, gratitude and affection.
“At the same time, we fully respect his wishes and the reasons why he has decided the current season will be his last at Liverpool.
“In keeping with Jürgen’s expressed wishes, we will save the comprehensive tributes for a more appropriate time but nevertheless, we would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to reaffirm that his appointment remains one of the greatest blessings of our time as owners.
“The incredible achievements of the intervening years speak for themselves, so too does the joy that Jürgen and his team have brought to all of us supporters. His many accomplishments will never be taken for granted.
“To appropriate an adage synonymous with another Liverpool managerial great, Jürgen Klopp ‘made the people happy’ and we have total confidence he will continue to do so until his eventual departure.
“It is testament to Jürgen’s unstinting professionalism and ongoing commitment to the best interests of Liverpool FC that his decision was arrived at in a way which allows for business as usual to be maintained for the remainder of his tenure while simultaneously creating an opportunity for us to prepare for the future.
“Our priority now is two-fold. First, to ensure that the progress that has been made on the pitch this season is maintained in the final months of the campaign.
“Second, to continue the due diligence behind the scenes which will allow our football operations department to adapt to a future without Jürgen.
“As ever, these ambitions will be pursued in the best interests of the club and its supporters and we will update fans as and when significant developments are made.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to place on record our gratitude to Jürgen for everything he has done and continues to do for Liverpool Football Club. Thank you, Jürgen. When the time comes, you will never walk alone.”