Jubilant Liverpool keen to keep Klopp beyond 2022

Liverpool supporters throng the streets during the Champions League victory parade on Sunday. The open-top bus escorted by local police and with the team on board inched through the city centre amid cheers and confetti.
Liverpool supporters throng the streets during the Champions League victory parade on Sunday. The open-top bus escorted by local police and with the team on board inched through the city centre amid cheers and confetti.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • Liverpool fans perched on rooftops, speed cameras and bus shelters on Sunday afternoon. Others clambered up lamp posts and sat astride traffic lights.

The open-top bus transporting Jurgen Klopp's squad was reduced to a crawl by the number of fans turning out to celebrate their sixth Champions League/European Cup triumph.

By the time it reached its destination, almost four hours had passed, and Merseyside police estimated that up to 750,000 people had lined the streets.

The sight of families, young and old, standing shoulder to shoulder was a vision to behold and highlighted how the supporters have been unified behind an institution that was idling before Klopp's arrival in October 2015.

And that is why the club's owner, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), wants him to oversee the construction of a dynasty at Anfield by staying on as the manager beyond the three years remaining on his annual £7 million (S$12.1 million) contract.

The German spent seven years each in his previous positions with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, but FSG feels he can break new ground.

There is a belief that a young squad are primed to challenge consistently for the top honours under Klopp - who received the loudest cheers as he hoisted the trophy into the air - so the club's hierarchy is keen to tie him down.

Liverpool also want to ward off rival interest, with Bayern Munich great Franz Beckenbauer telling German daily Bild yesterday the 51-year-old was "one of the best coaches in the world" and would be a "good fit" at the Allianz Arena.

Reds chairman Tom Werner said: "When the players threw Jurgen in the air after our victory, they were acknowledging what all Liverpool fans know - he is beloved by all who appreciate football.

"Jurgen is a brilliant coach, but just as importantly, he is a humble and caring man."

Of the turnout for their 12.8km victory parade, Klopp joked: "I don't know exactly how many people live in Liverpool but it does not look like there is a lot (of) space for fans of other clubs.

"It is incredible. If you are a young kid, which do you support?

"There are not a lot of opportunities or options other than Liverpool.

"You see in the eyes how much it means. It is really intense."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2019, with the headline 'Jubilant Liverpool keen to keep Klopp beyond 2022'. Print Edition | Subscribe