The head of Fenway Sports Group has reflected on the moment in which he was able to tempt a charismatic German tactician to Anfield
Liverpool owner John W Henry says discovering that Jurgen Klopp was willing to discuss taking the reins at Anfield was “one of the most exciting phone calls” he has ever taken.
Back in October 2015, the Reds found themselves in need of a new manager as Brendan Rodgers was ushered through the exits.
It did not take long for Klopp to be identified as a top target by those at Anfield, with the charismatic German without a club at that stage having severed ties with Borussia Dortmund a few months earlier.
With an intriguing project put to him, a highly-rated coach opened himself up to talks.
Henry considers that day to be a turning point in Liverpool’s recent history, with the club having enjoyed Champions League, Club World Cup and Premier League title triumphs under an enigmatic manager.
In a BBC documentary titled ‘Liverpool FC: The 30 Year Wait’, Henry said of his bid to get Klopp on board: “I first found out about Jurgen when I was still really a student of the game and thinking that is the type of football I want to play.
“I think they called it the ‘heavy-metal football’.
“[FSG president] Mike Gordon called me one day and said: ‘We’re going to have a chance to meet with Jurgen in New York’.
“To me that was one of the most exciting phone calls I’ve gotten during the 10 years that we have been with the club.
“He’s a large man with a large heart and an incredible passion for doing things the right way.
“The Premier League is the most difficult league in the world to win and the most difficult challenge that I have ever faced.”
Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for English top-flight glory in 2019-20.
That success came on the back of having landed a sixth European Cup in the previous campaign.
Final heartache had been suffered before getting back on the trophy trail, with Henry admitting that a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in a 2018 Champions League showpiece hit the club hard.
They were, however, to offer the perfect response to that setback, with Henry – who heads up the Fenway Sports Group – saying: “It’s so hard to get to that point [of a Champions League final] and if you can’t win the final, particularly in the way we lost it, that was hard.
“But I remember Jurgen saying at the time that we would be back. We would be back and [he would be] damned if we weren’t.”