Jurgen Klopp started his first conversations with the owner of the Liverpool Fenway Sports Group and how their “exceptional” relationship grew.
Boss Reds was warned by FSG in October 2015 after Brendan Rodgers was relieved of his duties with the club sitting tenth in the Premier League.
Klopp was only a few months into a gap year after his departure from Borussia Dortmund when FSG President Mike Gordon invited him to New York for a chat about Rodgers’ success.
After a long conversation between FSG, Klopp and his agent, Mark Kosicke, the German was offered the job in the offices of the Manhattan law firm Shearman and Sterling.
Less than five years later, Klopp led the Reds to their first title in 30 years with their 23-point lead at the top of English football, unable to be mathematically overthrown by Manchester City in second place.
That triumph marks 12 extraordinary months for the club that saw them win the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the first club World Cup in Anfield.
And Klopp explained how FSG initially contacted him once Rodgers was fired in the fall of 2015.
“The relationship has been exceptional,” said Klopp. “It was from day one, actually.
“The first meeting was in New York, it’s true. But the first phone call with Mike was before, three days before I don’t know. It was a beautiful day, I remember it. I think I’m still in bed. I didn’t have nothing to do, I had free time.
“I knew that Mike, or someone from the FSG would call. At that point I didn’t know Mike. But we had an hour on the phone. Obviously I convinced him in a way he wanted to meet in New York to bring the deal to the limit. that’s basically how it started.
“From then on, we had a very, very good relationship on a professional and personal basis. We work closely together with Mike – that’s how it is.
“Mike is responsible for most things. But it’s Mike, (the sports director) Michael Edwards and myself. We are practically the Transfer Committee!
“It worked really well. They were my first owners, so I can’t compare them. They are the best owners I worked for, for sure!
“There is no problem if things don’t happen. There is no need for a personal relationship in this area. We have worked brilliantly together.
“First of all, they wanted to support us. Not always initially with money, but with trust and support in the things we do. It was evident from the first second. It was always clear. We finished eighth in 2016 – ninth would have been the worst ever, right?
“There was never any doubt – not that way. I’m pretty sure there were doubts from the outside. But on the side of the owners, there never was. They saw the small steps and this helped us enormously. We could do it , by-step “.
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Klopp also explained how he and his team were able to summon the strength to shake off the bitter disappointment of losing the Premier League last year to become a hit this time.
After suffering only one defeat throughout the season and collecting a record of 97 points, Klopp’s men were beaten to the crown by Manchester City who racked up 98 over 38 games.
Klopp says these setbacks are part of his career and explained how his players have been able to convince themselves that they can finally get the biggest prize in English football.
He added: “Even when you don’t want it, when you have it it is very important to face it in the right way. I had to learn it at the beginning of my life, especially my life as a coach, and [my wife] Ulla hates me for this.
“We have had so many close failures: as with Mainz who did not go up a point, then he got up with the worst score ever; Dortmund does not qualify for Europe, therefore it loses a Champions League final.
“They are a good example that life goes on. I would have had many reasons to get angry and say ‘I don’t try anymore’.
“Obviously it is not easy to go through these moments, but it is easier to deal with them because they are only information and if you use it in the right way the feeling is good. If you do not use it in the right way it does not help a little. I always take care of this and that’s what we did here, that’s what the guys did here, they buy us and I really like all our answers.
“In some games that hit or in some seasons that hit. In that case we were lucky because yes, we didn’t win the league with 97 points, but we won the Champions League and this helped us. We had something to show and a lot of experience and a wonderful fashion show that helped a lot.
“But there was never a chance that we wouldn’t try again. But what he showed that season is that you have to be almost perfect to get a chance. It was the information that could put you under pressure again, but it was the information we shared at the beginning of the pre-season and then we never talked about it again.
“It is not too difficult to be 100% motivated for a game, but if you are approaching an entire season from the beginning like” the twelfth game we play there, it is an away game against them and it will be difficult to win “. you have to be in the moment and we have always been in the moment and so far it has worked quite well.”