Ferguson reveals 3am celebratory call from Klopp after title triumph
Sir Alex hails manager for stamping personality on club Liverpool players told to avoid danger zones on holiday
Jurgen Klopp called Sir Alex Ferguson at 3am to celebrate winning the Premier League title, the former Manchester United manager revealed last night.
Ferguson, who awarded Klopp the League Managers’ Association’s Manager of the Year prize, joked that he was prepared to forgive Klopp’s exuberance after such an outstanding season. Klopp, returning a compliment, said that his first meeting with Ferguson was akin to an audience with the Pope.
“Jurgen, fantastic,” Ferguson said. “Liverpool … 30 years since winning that league, incredible. You thoroughly deserved it. The performance level of your team was outstanding. Your personality runs right throughout the club. I’ll forgive you for waking me up at 3.30am to tell me you have won the league!”
Liverpool players, meanwhile, must submit holiday plans during their brief post-season break, as the club demand they take responsibility for avoiding Covid-19 infection.
Klopp says his squad will reveal their intended movements and be told to avoid risking pre-season preparations during their fortnight’s absence.
“The boys can go on holiday, obviously, and we know where they will go,” Klopp said. “These countries are all completely fine. But this situation can change constantly.
“That is the responsibility of the boys. They are all adults and they have to make sure they know when they have to leave this specific country. You have to just follow the news and react. It is not our job to say to them, ‘By the way, maybe Spain has closed the border now’. We cannot do that, the boys are responsible and they know that.
“They will get a programme to work on. But they are responsible for themselves as well. We will help, of course, but they need to be aware of the situation and you cannot go on holiday and do the things you could in the past. We have to be disciplined. But the boys are exceptional. Not only ours, but everyone. We have had no new cases in the whole period of the season.
“It shows that they are all good, and I hope it stays like this and we will come back and train again.”
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker has already said he will not return to Brazil during his break, to avoid infection.
When Liverpool return, they might head to their new training base in Kirkby, as the site is ready for use. Klopp must decide if the quick turnaround between seasons makes the switch possible or whether he would prefer to wait.
He would also like to return to the French training camp in Evian, where so much essential preparation was completed last season.
“In our case, we have to play the Community Shield,” Klopp said. “For the teams still in the Europa League and Champions League, it is really tricky. It is unbelievably intense for these teams. So, for us, the situation is OK. But for others, it is much more difficult, 100 per cent.”
Dejan Lovren, meanwhile, has completed a £10 million move to Zenit St Petersburg, following Adam Lallana as a high-profile departure. Lallana signed a threeyear deal with Brighton,
Klopp has emphasised that he cannot demand funds for replacements until football’s financial situation is clearer. “It is really difficult to judge the future,” he said.