Arne Slot is Liverpool 'head coach' but Klopp was 'manager' - what is the difference?

On October 8, 2015, Liverpool Football confirmed the appointment of Jurgen Klopp as ‘the club’s new manager’. On May 20, 2024, Arne Slot was confirmed as ‘the club’s new head coach’. 

A small but significant step for the Reds, as the Dutchman becomes the first such appointment in the club’s history. 

It reflects a new way of working at Anfield, under incoming sporting director Richard Hughes and FSG’s new CEO of Football Michael Edwards.

There have been a number of high-profile departures at Liverpool in recent days; the roll call of members of the backroom taking the plaudits during the emotional Anfield ceremony will pay testament to that.  

Liverpool's backroom outgoings

Klopp, of course, is the first and most important of those leaving. He intends to take a break from management and whether he will be back is anyone’s guess. 

Assistant Pep Lijnders will go to RB Salzburg to take up a position as the club’s new coach and will be joined by Vitor Matos - previously Liverpool’s Elite Development Coach. 

Also on their way out the door are Peter Krawietz, Klopp’s trusted lieutenant, as well as long-term goalkeeping coach John Achterberg and his deputy Jack Robinson

Andreas Schlumberger, head of recovery and performance and another Klopp ally, leaves and Jorg Schmadtke, previous incumbent of the sporting director role, has already gone. 

Andreas Kornmayer, head of fitness and condition, and another Klopp appointment also goes

Who's coming into Anfield?

As well as Richard Hughes and Michael Edwards, there are plenty more backroom moves taking place in the corridors of power. 

David Woodfine returns to the club as assistant sporting director while Mark Burchill and Craig McKee come in as scouts. 

Joining Edwards under the FSG - and not strictly the Liverpool FC - umbrella are Julian Ward, coming back to the regime as technical director, and Pedro Marques as director of football development. 

The Portuguese will be responsible for plotting the way forward with FSG’s new multi-club model plans

Is Arne Slot Liverpool manager or head coach?

So where does that leave Slot?

In the eyes of many, a manager and a head coach are identical in everything but name. At some clubs, this might well be the case. Liverpool, however, have been keen to differentiate the two. 

The Reds are seemingly looking to adopt more of an Americanised set-up behind the scenes. For those unfamiliar with this, NFL teams have a General Manager who will head up the football operations side of things.

Arne Slot

They will work on improving the squad, sorting contracts and trades as well as being in charge of hiring the head coach. There’s a clear separation between the head coach and the general manager.

With Edwards as the CEO of football operations and Richard Hughes coming in as sporting director, Liverpool have their General Managers. They’re going to be tasked with handling everything off of the pitch and piecing together a squad they deem to be good enough for the manager to compete. 

Slot, a man hand-picked by the duo of Edwards and Hughes, will focus on getting the best out of the players given to him. Everyone is on the same page and this can only be a positive for the Reds.

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