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Klopp to leave Liverpool at end of season

Jurgen Klopp has announced he will leave his position as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, saying he is “running out of energy.”

Klopp, 56, has brought huge success to Liverpool after arriving at Anfield in 2015 and steering the club to the Premier League title in 2020 and Champions League in 2019. But this will be his final campaign in charge, announcing Friday he will depart at the end of the season.

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Klopp will take a break from management and said he will not manage a club or country for at least a year. He also said he will never manage another club in England other than Liverpool.

“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,” Klopp said in a video statement released by Liverpool.

“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.”

He added: “If you ask me now if I will ever manage again, I would say no. But you don’t know obviously as I’ve never had this situation. But I do know definitely I will never manage a different club in England than Liverpool. It is impossible.

“I will find something else to do. But I will not manage a club or country for at least a year.”

In an emotional statement, Klopp said he owed Liverpool supporters an explanation for why he is stepping back now. He said it was a hard decision but also felt “relief” when he made it, saying it’s the right moment for him to try a “normal life” and see if he misses management.

“It would be cool if you can accept my decision as a hard one, but the right one,” Klopp said. “I need to find a different purpose and look for it.”

“I told the club already in November,” he said. “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 percent right.”

Klopp joined Liverpool in October 2015 and led them back to the pinnacle of English and European football. Under Klopp, Liverpool won their first league title in 30 years in 2020, the Champions League title in 2019, the FA Cup in 2022 and the Carabao Cup in 2022. He also led them to Champions League finals in 2018 and 2022 as well as the Europa League final in 2016. They won the UEFA Super Cup in 2019 and the FIFA Club World Cup title in 2019.

After a tricky 2022-23 campaign, Klopp has helped steer Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League this season, with a five-point lead over second-placed Manchester City after 21 games.

Liverpool are still in the mix for four competitions — the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League — and Klopp will target silverware in what will be his final campaign at Anfield.

Klopp signed a new deal with Liverpool in 2022 with his original contract up in 2024. The deal was set to take him through to 2026 but Klopp has decided to leave in the summer.

“We will have a moment, maybe the last matchday here or somewhere else — I mean in other countries or other competitions,” Klopp said. “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.”

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group paid tribute to Klopp, saying it will be “business as usual” until the end of the season.

“First and foremost, on behalf of John Henry and Tom Werner, I would like to state our profound appreciation for Jürgen,” Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon said. “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 Jurgen’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, Jurgen Klopp ‘made the people happy’ and we have total confidence he will continue to do so until his eventual departure.

“It is testament to Jurgen’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 Jurgen. 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 Jurgen for everything he has done and continues to do for Liverpool Football Club. Thank you, Jurgen. When the time comes, you will never walk alone.”

It will be a new-look Liverpool coaching team next season with assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz also departing the club at the end of the campaign. Lijnders is keen to pursue his own career in management.

The club also said sporting director Jorg Schmadtke will leave after the January transfer window.


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