Jurgen Klopp replacement, exit strategy and the next 10 years for FSG at Liverpool


Ten years. And while Fenway Sports Group will perhaps take a moment to consider such an important landmark, they are not the ones for long reflection. The focus remains firmly on the future, with eyes above all on the way forward.

Much has been accomplished in the decade since John Henry emerged triumphant from the steps of the courtroom in London to confirm a new era at Liverpool Football Club.

Whether FSG will exist another 10 years is debatable, however.

By then, main owner Henry will be 81 and Reds president Tom Werner 80, not exactly the age when anyone wants to worry about the smallest details of running a football club, let alone a sports empire.

Nothing lasts forever, then. But there are still a few key tasks that FSG’s current management must oversee during his tenure at Anfield.

Keep developing Anfield

Without the coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool could have prepared to start construction of the planned redevelopment of Anfield Road End in December.

Instead, the club announced in April that they would postpone the expansion for at least 12 months until December 2021.

If building permit is granted, a new £ 60million, 16,000-seat stand will be built for completion in summer 2023.

Following the earlier construction of the new main stand, this would take Anfield’s capacity to over 61,000, although the club are ready to review and consider their options in the meantime.

Work on the new first-team training center in Kirkby, which had been suspended in March, resumed in May. But with Melwood still in use and subject to strict health and safety protocols, there is no immediate rush to move to the new site.

Rebuild the team

It’s one thing to spend money to build a team that can take over Europe, the world and, most notably, the Premier League.

But to start over, it takes time, money and even more ad hoc recruiting.

The previously steady turnover of managers at Liverpool – and, indeed, almost every other club – meant the lack of continuity hampered any hope of long-term planning.

Injuries, retirements and departures meant Brendan Rodgers essentially had to start building a second team within four years, with no tangible success to fall back on.

Jurgen Klopp has that. And with the manager in position for the predictable, steps are already being taken to secure the top three, while attention will soon turn to the long-term lineup of the midfielder. Maintaining the standard will not be easy.

Liverpool owners FSG are celebrating 10 years at the helm of the Reds.

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Replace Jurgen Klopp

The toughest job FSG faces.

Persuading Klopp to end his sabbatical prematurely and return to management was arguably the owners’ best decision, given how the Reds boss has since transformed the team and, by association, the mood and the perception of the club.

But few expect him to extend his stay at Anfield beyond the end of his current contract, which expires in 2024.

This will take him to nearly nine years at the helm. For context, the last Liverpool manager to stay in office for such a long time was Bob Paisley, who retired in 1983.

With FSG hoping for three more seasons from Klopp after this, the search for a successor is not urgent. But they will already have their ideas.

Will it be an inside promotion for someone like Pep Lijnders? Will Anfield legend Steven Gerrard have progressed in his managerial career to be able to intervene directly?

What about Julian Nagelsmann and other young coaches in Europe? Or will someone new break through in the next four years to become obvious?

It won’t be easy. But FSG’s hope will be for the move to come with Liverpool still in a strong position.

Sell ​​the club

They came, as Henry said on his first day as the owner, to win. But FSG also knows a good business opportunity when it sees one.

And their long-term plan to embolden Liverpool on and off the pitch has long been coming to fruition.

The FSG is already open to investment in the form of a sale of a minority stake in the club, which could potentially free up additional funds for team building or for more infrastructure.

As previously stated, it’s a fatality that Henry and Werner will call a day sooner rather than later.

  • What did you think of FSG’s time in Liverpool? Take our quick survey and let us know.

There could be an exchange of power already mentioned within the company, a succession plan already in preparation.

Or the time may come for FSG to capitalize on one of football’s most valuable assets after restoring it to former glories.

Certainly their decade of steady progress means Liverpool are a much more attractive business proposition now than they’ve ever been.


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