Jurgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders thought owners FSG were still fully committed to Liverpool when they signed their new contracts.
Klopp and Lijnders pledged their long-term futures to Liverpool back in April until June 2026 and the Reds assistant manager says they had no inkling that they might put the club up for sale back then. John W Henry and his co-owners admitted in a statement on Monday that they are looking for new investors and it is understood they have hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to help them in their search.
Liverpool have been very stable under FSG’s 12-year stewardship and the Americans have transformed the club on and off the pitch. Lijnders is relaxed about the possibility of new owners at Anfield and says he and Klopp understand that situations can change.
He says they have a very good relationship with FSG and that their decision does not change that. When asked if he believed FSG were still in it for the long haul when they signed their new contracts, the Dutchman said: “Yeah, of course. You sign a deal with Liverpool Football Club and the owners.
“But we are not naive to think that things don’t change in football, that’s how the football world works. Our relationship with them is very, very good. I respect them so much. I hope with my answers I can transmit that.”
Lijnders says FSG told him and Klopp about their desire to find new investors 10 days ago and so Monday’s announcement was no surprise. He says FSG have always acted in the best interests of the club and have taken this decision now because they feel it will benefit the Reds long term.
“First of all, everybody who saw us the last years, everybody who realises who we are as a club knows that we have a strong relationship with the owners,” said Lijnders on Tuesday when he stood in for Klopp at Liverpool’s press conference to preview their Carabao Cup game against Derby.
“We knew before, of course, we knew about the statement, nothing more than you guys do. What I would like to say is that I always know the owners act in the best interests of the club and they always have done. I believe they have always tried at least.
“This relationship was very important for us or will be so I think the statement was very clear. How does it distract us? To be honest, this is what I like about our club, we are so focused.
“There was a small discussion, a little talk between Jurgen and me, but from that moment on, we started focusing, we have a big game coming up.
“What I like about this club and about our structure is that when rumours come out, we focus on what matters and what matters is preparing for Derby because we want to go and compete in this cup.”