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Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool: “Losing him breaks my heart”

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Page 1 — “Losing him breaks my heart”

Page 2 — “Jürgen Klopp cannot be replaced”

Jürgen Klopp has been the coach of Liverpool FC since October 2015. He recently announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Joe Blott says: “Klopp has reignited the club.” Blott, 62, is the chairman of the Supporters Board, a fan advisory board that represents the interests of fans towards the club.

TIME ONLINE: Mr. Blott, have you already come to terms with Jürgen Klopp leaving Liverpool FC at the end of the season?

Joe Blott: I’m slowly starting to come to terms with it. The news was a shock. I was on holiday in Tenerife when the news came. I said to my wife: Don’t expect me to be particularly sociable today. From his point of view, the decision is of course completely understandable. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to be a coach in modern professional football, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for so many years. But as a Liverpool fan you want the best for your club. And Jürgen is the best coach in the world. Losing him breaks my heart.

TIME ONLINE: Other coaches have also had success with Liverpool FC in the past. Why is Klopp’s departure particularly painful?

Only: He is more than a coach for us. He understands Liverpool, he understands the people here. It is important to us to be there for each other, to look after each other, to be combative when it matters, but also to be open and warm. That’s what distinguishes the people of Liverpool, and that’s what the club stands for. Many coaches don’t understand this. They are simply doing their job. But ideally a coach lives the values ​​of the club and the people here.

TIME ONLINE: And Klopp does that?

Only: Yes, the city even awarded him the honorary title of Freedom of the City of Liverpool. After Nelson Mandela, he is only the second foreigner to receive this title. This shows how deep the connection between Klopp and the city is.

TIME ONLINE: What exactly do you mean when you say he understands Liverpool?

Only: For example, he was very critical of Brexit and saw that Brexit was damaging to the community. He doesn’t see why you do something that divides people, that builds walls and creates problems. Liverpool is clearly pro-European. Community is our strength, not selfishness. Klopp lives it.

Joe Blott is Chairman of the Liverpool FC Supporters Advisory Board. Previously, he was chairman of the Spirit of Shankly fan club, named after a coaching legend predecessor, Jürgen Klopp. © Private

TIME ONLINE: Liverpool FC is one of the largest players in the billion-dollar professional football business, has owners from the USA and was a driving force in the attempted founding of the Super League. Is there room for values ​​such as community in such a club?

Only: Well, look: The club is a business in a business world. That’s the reality. Our owners are speculators, they want to make money with the club. But the question is always how to do it. They have reinvested large sums of money in the club, expanded the stadium and built a modern training center. This will benefit the club in the future. The association’s foundation does a lot in the community, supporting campaigns that collect food for those in need. Liverpool FC is trying to remain as local as possible in a global business worth billions.

TIME ONLINE: Jürgen Klopp led Liverpool to win the Champions League in 2019 and their first league title in 30 years in 2020. What was his greatest achievement?

Only: He brought back the good times. When he arrived in the fall of 2015, we were an average team. Sure, we almost became champions under his predecessor Brendan Rodgers. But the following season we lost 6-1 at Stoke City when our captain Steven Gerrard left. It all felt very sad.

TIME ONLINE: Then in October 2015, Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers.

Only: Klopp has reignited the club. I never dreamed that I would ever enjoy football so much, that I would experience so many trips around Europe and to different finals. It’s quite expensive to be a Klopp fan. I’ve spent a lot of money on Liverpool FC in recent years. But it was worth it.

TIME ONLINE: What was the biggest moment of Klopp’s tenure?

Only: Phew, there were so many. Of course the 2020 championship – but there was Corona. We couldn’t go to the stadium and had to watch the crucial phase of the season on TV. The 2019 Champions League season was special, especially the 4-0 win in the semi-final second leg against FC Barcelona. That was one of the greatest moments for me in football ever, not just under Klopp. But I also remember a game in its early days. After a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion, he went with the team to the fans and made the wave. The public made fun of it. But we understood the meaning of the campaign: Klopp wanted to take us all with him.

Jürgen Klopp has been the coach of Liverpool FC since October 2015. He recently announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Joe Blott says: “Klopp has reignited the club.” Blott, 62, is the chairman of the Supporters Board, a fan advisory board that represents the interests of fans towards the club.

TIME ONLINE: Mr. Blott, have you already come to terms with Jürgen Klopp leaving Liverpool FC at the end of the season?

Joe Blott: I’m slowly starting to come to terms with it. The news was a shock. I was on holiday in Tenerife when the news came. I said to my wife: Don’t expect me to be particularly sociable today. From his point of view, the decision is of course completely understandable. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to be a coach in modern professional football, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for so many years. But as a Liverpool fan you want the best for your club. And Jürgen is the best coach in the world. Losing him breaks my heart.

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