Inside the 48 hours that shook Liverpool as clues dropped and Jurgen Klopp staff left gobsmacked

Jurgen Klopp\’s decision to depart Liverpool has left club staff stunned – but there were clues something big was brewing behind the scenes

Jurgen Klopp leaving the AXA Training Ground, picture by Colin Lane

Jurgen Klopp leaving the AXA Training Ground, picture by Colin Lane

The first rumblings of a developing story at Liverpool came when the invites to Jurgen Klopp\’s pre-match press conference were dispatched on Wednesday morning.

Rather than the usual Friday gathering, reporters who are asked to visit the AXA Training Centre were instructed to meet on Thursday afternoon instead. It was a rare break in tradition and one that did not go unnoticed by those who are there most weeks.The fact Klopp was due to meet the media to preview Sunday\’s FA Cup fourth round visit from Norwich City some 24 hours earlier than usual initially raised both eyebrows and questions. It was claimed at the time that the Reds boss simply had other commitments to fulfil on Friday and given the day-to-day demands placed on the manager, it seems plausible enough.The moving of Liverpool\’s Women\’s manager Matt Beard\’s media meeting from Friday to Saturday, however, was another development that sounded the alarm bells.

Despite the intrigue, though, few could have envisioned the genuine bombshell that dropped when it was confirmed by Klopp himself that he would be leaving the post he has filled with distinction for the best part of a decade.

Klopp told his paymasters Fenway Sports Group as far back as November that he no longer had the required energy levels to devote to what is one of the most demanding roles in European football and that the lid was sealed on such a huge story for so long provides the biggest illustration yet of how watertight an operation the club are under their American owners and their inspirational German manager.

Few clues were given from Klopp as he previewed the game with the Canaries and the Reds boss was in a good mood fresh from booking his place at the Carabao Cup final the night previous night when Fulham had been beaten 3-2 on aggregate. However, that Klopp didn\’t greet progress to the final with a trademark triple fist-pump towards the travelling support at Craven Cottage hadn\’t passed unnoticed either.

Only a select group knew Klopp would later on Thursday be filming the interviews with the official club channels that would confirm his intention to step down the following morning. Even then, at the start of the week there was no inkling of what was to come for many of those who were involved.