Man In Charge: Jürgen Klopp

Jack Hallows argues why we as a fanbase need to stop blaming FSG for every little thing and understand that Klopp is not an idiot or a pushover. 

The news this week that Philippe Coutinho signed a new, improved, five-year deal that includes no release clause and doubled his salary was met by a bizarre response from a large percentage of our fanbase. “Suarez signed a new deal before he left,” they said. “Torres did the same,” they said. “He’s just signing to protect his value, watch a huge buyout clause be inserted so he sells for a premium #FSG,” they said.

What these people have seemingly forgotten is that yes, Suarez did sign a new contract to protect his value, as did Torres but both players were on their way out long before Chelsea and Barcelona came calling respectively. FSG’s hands were tied and the Reds didn’t have a world-class manager at the helm on either occasion to convince them otherwise.

Now, though, there is only one man in charge at Liverpool these days and that is our manager – Jürgen Klopp. He may be at the mercy of how much FSG are willing to spend when it comes to signings but the summer was proof that the American-based owners are more than happy to back whatever decisions Klopp makes with both financial and moral support.

£60 million combined for Mane and Wijnaldum is not outrageous but is not a small amount of money either. FSG haven’t bought these players for their ‘money-ball’ strategy just to sell them later on. Klopp wants them at the club and sees them as long-term assets for the future of Liverpool. Look at his previous transfer history if you want any further proof of this. He doesn’t have a record of spending 50/60/70 million pounds on a single player, especially if he doesn’t feel they’re 150% worth it. “What about this current window, though?” Everyone asks.

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Yes, January reinforcements would’ve been nice but from what Klopp’s revealed it has been more of a case of clubs not wanting to sell rather than Liverpool not wanting to buy. The Reds have been linked with the likes of Brandt, Pulisic, Promes and Dahoud over January however, all of these players are not just important but vital to their current clubs successes. This was always going to make it hard to prise them away, no matter what money the Reds offered to try and buy their services. It’s frustrating but it’s something every club has to put up with. Klopp doesn’t want stop-gaps, he wants long-term. Deal with it.

So what about the Coutinho contract then?

It’s very clear from the details we’ve been drip fed that Klopp is the man behind the deal. The German clearly views Coutinho as “world class” – his own words – and is desperate to keep him at the club. His wages have been doubled, his services have been recruited for an extra two years and most importantly, Klopp has ensured there is no release clause. Release clauses are often attached in contracts when club’s feel insecurity over the future of a player – Suarez and Torres being prime examples – and are designed to ensure that the club receives a price usually slightly inflated on their valuation.

If Liverpool were really going to entertain offers from the likes of PSG or Barcelona then this new contract would’ve almost certainly had a release clause inserted. Klopp, however, is evidently having none of that and this is further evidence of his willingness to rid Liverpool of their ‘selling club’ tag and retain his best players.

This bizarre agenda that FSG are stifling Klopp at Liverpool needs to fade away. Jürgen Klopp is very much the man in charge at Liverpool and the fact he’s already overseen huge changes – not just on the field but in the backroom staff as well – at the club should earn the relationship between manager and owners far more respect. Jürgen Klopp calls the shots and the owners back him. It is worth remembering however that this doesn’t mean we will be spending £89 million pounds on a Paul Pogba or an Antoine Griezmann. Klopp has a method, he has a plan and he has a way of doing things. Let it happen and stop trying to create issues and instability where there isn’t any.

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