In a significant announcement, Jürgen Klopp has revealed his decision to step down as the manager of Liverpool at the conclusion of the current season. The 56-year-old conveyed his wish to the club’s ownership to conclude his managerial responsibilities at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.
Having recently guided the Reds to another Wembley final, Klopp will continue overseeing the team’s remaining fixtures for the 2023-24 season before bidding farewell to his illustrious eight-and-a-half-year tenure at Anfield. During his time at the helm, Liverpool has secured six major trophies under his guidance.
Joining Klopp in stepping down at the end of the season are assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz, along with elite development coach Vitor Matos. Lijnders expresses his intention to pursue a career in management.
In a statement provided to Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp clarified the reasons behind his decision and the timing of the announcement. He emphasized the necessity for clarity at this early stage to facilitate a smooth transition in due course.
Klopp stated, “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.”
Expressing his deep affection for the club, the city, supporters, team, and staff, Klopp highlighted the inevitability of his decision, citing a depletion of energy. He acknowledged that while he loves every aspect of Liverpool, the realization that he cannot sustain the demands of the managerial role prompted him to make this difficult but necessary choice.
“I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again,” Klopp affirmed, reflecting on the profound respect and love that has grown over the years spent together with the club, team, and supporters.
In conclusion, Klopp expressed gratitude and transparency to the Liverpool community, stating, “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 took charge of Liverpool as the manager on October 8, 2015. This decision turned things around for the club, making it a powerhouse in both local and international football once again.
During Klopp’s time as the boss, Liverpool has won several big trophies like the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup, FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and FA Community Shield. It’s been quite a journey.
Klopp shared, “I actually told the club back in November. You see me on the sidelines during games, but a lot of what I do happens behind the scenes. When we were discussing things like new players, plans for the next season, and even the summer training camp, I realized I might not be around then. It surprised me, and that got me thinking.”
He mentioned that last season was really tough, and at other clubs, decisions might have been made to part ways, but not at Liverpool. Klopp felt it was crucial to get the team back on track, and that’s what he focused on. Once he saw the team’s potential, he began thinking about his own future.
Even though there’s still a good chunk of the current season left and Liverpool is in four competitions, Klopp wants to save goodbyes for later. He aims to make the most out of the remaining months and create more happy memories for the fans.
Klopp added, “We will find the right moment, maybe on the last matchday here or elsewhere. There’s plenty of time for that. Right now, let’s focus on giving our best. People outside might want to make a big deal out of my decision, but we are Liverpool. We’ve faced tougher challenges before. Let’s turn this into our strength. Let’s make the most of this season, and we’ll have one more reason to smile 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.”