By now, Liverpool supporters have probably all heard the news that Jürgen Klopp is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. But what does that mean for the future of the club? CEO Billy Hogan attempted to answer that question in a joint press conference with Klopp on January 26th. In the presser, Hogan discussed his reaction to the news, and how significant this news is to the club and he also outlined the next steps in finding Klopp's replacement while not getting into the specifics of who the managerial candidates might be.
Caught By Surprise
Like the rest of us, Mr Hogan was surprised by Klopp's announcement and admitted as much in the press conference.
“Of course (I was surprised),” Hogan said.”But at the same time, I think he said in the video [released today] that really this is about [how] everyone sees what happens from the outside, but the amount of work and pressure... as he said, he's been doing this [coaching] for 24 years. So, surprised in a sense but also I understand it. As I said, it's obviously a sad day but it's also one that [is] a credit to Jürgen, he's come to the decision he wanted to give the club the opportunity to go through what will be an orderly process and that's not easy to do if this news isn't public.”
A Pivotal Time For The Reds
In many ways, Klopp has been the face of the club since he arrived at Anfield in 2015. So the decision of who will be the next manager is a crucial one. Before addressing the future, however, Hogan discussed how Klopp has helped to shape the club during his tenure.
“I think when Jürgen joined us in 2015, [he] talked about leaving the club in a better place than he found it,” Hogan said. “And I think if you look at where we are today versus where we were when he joined us, there's absolutely no doubt that he's done that. As he just said, he's going to be here for several more months. From our perspective, obviously the news is sad, as I'm sure a lot of our supporters share that emotion. He and I have had a number of conversations over the course of the last several weeks, and I think the first time that we had a chat about his decision from a professional standpoint but also from a personal standpoint – we've worked alongside each other for the last almost nine years – and I could see from my perspective, knowing him as I do, that this was a decision that he had come to and that he was absolutely comfortable with and believed in. When your colleague and friend comes to a decision like that then that's something that you support and respect.”
What About The Future?
Klopp has made it clear that he is 100 per cent committed to Liverpool for the rest of the season. But who is Hogan looking for to man the touchline in the future? While he did not drop any names of potential candidates, he did say that the process of selecting a new manager would happen largely behind the scenes.
“It's a process that we have gone through in the past, the way we operate as a football club is to ensure that we've looked at all the information, all the data, we've done our proper due diligence and then we'll make a decision and we'll have an announcement at that time,” Hogan said. “I understand the question, but I can't commit to a timeline on it. It will go on in the background and you can be sure that we will be doing everything that we possibly can to make, as Jürgen said, the right decision for the future of this football club. That's the way we have always operated and that's the way we'll operate through this process. But at the same time, it's not to be a distraction. This is about making sure this campaign continues and the team can continue to perform. As I said, when we have something to say, we'll have something to say at that point.”
LFC Globe Verdict
I appreciate the transparency of the club after Klopp's big announcement. Hearing from the CEO should assure supporters that the future of the club is in good hands and that everyone to do the best job possible. Mr Hogan walked a fine line in addressing questions about the club's future without it becoming the main focus of the press conference. He and everyone involved with the club are 100% committed to the rest of the season and the Reds certainly have plenty to play for.
“So surprised in a sense but also I understand it.”
“When your colleague and friend comes to a decision like that then that's something that you support and respect.”
“It's a process that we have gone through in the past, the way we operate as a football club is to ensure that we've looked at all the information, all the data, we've done our proper due diligence and then we'll make a decision and we'll have an announcement at that time.”