No Man City, no ‘financial things’, no VAR at Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool farewell

The outgoing Reds manager appeared at a question and answer session compered by comedian John Bishop.

Jurgen Klopp bade a fond farewell to Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp bade a fond farewell to Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

Former Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp used his farewell appearance with fans to take some good-natured swipes at his Premier League rivals with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all in the firing line.

The 56-year-old was attending a question and answer session at the M&S Bank Arena in the city and spoke freely – although not too freely after revealing he had been given a list of topics classed as off-limits – to a 10,000-capacity sell-out audience.

Klopp said he had been told to steer clear of “(broadcaster) TNT – no 1230 discussion; referees; we don’t talk about Man City – don’t know why; we don’t talk about financial things – don’t know why; VAR”.

However, when asked by comedian John Bishop, compere for the evening, about the prospect of Liverpool being awarded two more Premier League titles should City be stripped of honours if any of the 115 charges for financial irregularities were proven, Klopp said: “If you organise a bus parade I’m in. How long it takes, I don’t care how long.”

Jurgen Klopp was in high spirits during a farewell appearance in Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp was in high spirits during a farewell appearance in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

The German was also asked about the support he had received from owners Fenway Sports Group, often a bone of contention for fans who felt the Americans did not give the manager enough financial support.

“The owners do what owners do,” he said. “Surprise! The owners want to earn money. Sorry to tell you that.

“It’s not like they earn money on a daily basis: they invest something and that’s how the whole world goes.

“We should be really happy we have them and not guys who bought London clubs. I wouldn’t have survived a year at Liverpool (with them).

“Finally they (Chelsea) play football which everyone thinks ‘Oh, they might be back’ and then they sack the manager anyway.

Mauricio Pochettino was sacked after a year at Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino was sacked after a year at Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA)

“The owners feel responsible for the club. Are they the best in the world? I don’t know, I can’t say. But they worked really hard. I felt supported.”

Klopp was also asked about his famed man-management style.

“If the whole world loses trust and faith in the player, the manager has to be the one behind the player,” he added.

“I cannot just buy into that ‘he’s useless’, like other clubs did by the way – buying a player for £80million (referring to Manchester United’s purchase of Jadon Sancho) and then sending him out on loan!”

Arne Slot, the Feyenoord coach, is due to officially take over on Saturday.

Klopp has spoken to him and his backroom team but does not believe the Dutchman will need any more advice.

He was asked how the conversation went. “S**t!” he joked.

“It was a really good talk. I spoke to pretty much everybody of the new leadership team. He’s a really good manager. Arne has my number and he can call me – I don’t think it’s necessary,” he added.

“There’s a really good base for the next manager. We helped the new manager already by not winning everything. Can you imagine if we’d won the quadruple this year? ‘Great’.”

Klopp had managed to keep his emotions in check when saying goodbye to Anfield after the final match of the season against Wolves.

However, he was moved to tears when the arena stood as one to chant “I’m so glad that Jurgen is a Red” (sung to the tune of The Beatles’ ‘I Feel Fine’) before he said goodbye one last time.

He will continue to be an ambassador for the LFC Foundation and proceeds from the evening will all go to the club’s charity to benefit its own projects and those in the wider community.