Jürgen Klopp has announced his decision to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the current season, having informed the club’s ownership of his wish to leave his position when the 2023-24 campaign comes to a close.
After guiding the Reds to another Wembley final on Wednesday night, the 56-year-old will continue to oversee the team’s remaining fixtures of 2023-24 before bringing the curtain down on a glorious eight-and-a-half-year managerial reign at Anfield, which has seen the club win six major trophies under his guidance to date.
Assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz, as well as elite development coach Vitor Matos, will also vacate their positions at the end of the season, with Lijnders keen to pursue his own career in management.
Confirming his decision to Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp outlined the reasons behind it and the timing of today’s announcement, placing particular emphasis on the need for clarity at the earliest opportunity in order to create the conditions for an orderly transition to take place in due course.
He said: “I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it – or at least try to explain it.
“I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take.
“It is that I am, how can I say it, running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.
“After the years we had together and after all the time we spent together and after all the things we went through together, the respect grew for you, the love grew for you and the least I owe you is the truth – and that is the truth.”
Klopp was appointed as Liverpool manager on October 8, 2015. It was a decision that would revolutionise the club and establish it as a force at home and abroad once more.
Under his stewardship, Liverpool have lifted the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Super Cup, as well as the FA Community Shield.
Klopp added: “I told the club already in November. I have to explain a little bit that maybe the job I do people see from the outside, I’m on the touchline and in training sessions and stuff like this, but the majority of all the things happen around these kind of things. That means a season starts and you plan pretty much the next season already.
“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.
“It didn’t start [then], but of course last season was kind of a super-difficult season and there were moments when at other clubs probably the decision would have been, ‘Come on, thank you very much for everything but probably we should split here, or end it here.’ That didn’t happen here, obviously.
“For me it was super, super, super-important that I can help to bring this team back onto the rails. It was all I was thinking about. When I realised pretty early that happened, it’s a really good team with massive potential and a super age group, super characters and all that, then I could start thinking about myself again and that was the outcome. It is not what I want to [do], it is just what I think is 100 per cent right.”
With five months still left to play of the current campaign, the Reds remain involved in four competitions – and while there are still trophies left to chase, Klopp will ensure any goodbyes are put firmly on hold until his final game in charge of Liverpool Football Club in May.
He said: “We will have a moment, maybe the last matchday here or somewhere else – I mean in other countries or other competitions. There’s enough time to do these kinds of things. Let’s now really go for it. The outside world want to use this decision, laugh about it, want to disturb us.
“We are Liverpool, we went through harder things together. And you went through harder things before me. Let’s make a strength of it. That would be really cool. Let’s squeeze everything out of this season and have another thing to smile about when we look back in the future.”
Responding to the news, Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon underlined the collective determination for a “business as usual” approach until the conclusion of Klopp’s tenure while also highlighting the scale of his ongoing impact upon Liverpool.
He 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.”https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/J