John Barnes has explained why the decision to hand Brendan Rodgers a new, long-term contract at Anfield was important for both Liverpool FC and the wider footballing world.

The Reds announced the manager had put pen to paper on a contract extension on Monday afternoon - and the news was greeted with delight by the club's vast support.

Barnes, who has made no attempt to conceal his allegiances to the Liver Bird, was equally buoyed by news that Rodgers had committed his future.

Speaking to, he outlined why the Northern Irishman is not only the perfect man to progress the club's on-field fortunes, but an ideal leader off the pitch.

"Brendan fits not just because of his philosophy and the way his teams play, but because of his philosophy about the way a football club should be run," said Barnes.

"It's about his philosophy in terms of what he believes from a personal point of view.

"If you look at the players he has tried to sign and what he is trying to do in terms of bringing players through, from the Academy; integrating British players into the team, I think that's the right way for football.

"Not just for Liverpool but for everyone. Other clubs don't necessarily adopt that principle, but Barcelona do, Ajax do and Liverpool do. They have all been similar clubs over the last 30 years and Liverpool are now getting back to that, to the way a proper football club should be."

Rodgers' new deal came as a reward for two years of progress at Anfield - and, in particular, the vast strides made during the remarkable 2013-14 Barclays Premier League campaign.

Liverpool attained a highest league finish for five years, securing a return to Champions League football with four games to play, before taking the title race to the final day of the season.

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"The aim now is to be in the top four and to be very, very close once again to winning the league," insisted Barnes. "Is that going to be one, two, three or eight points? I think gone are the days when we are going to finish 25 points behind [the champions].

"Football for me has now changed. We're not going to see a team like Manchester United dominate. United will be strong, Manchester City will be strong, Chelsea will be strong, Arsenal will be strong.

"From what I saw last year and what I believe can happen, Liverpool will be competitive and be in with a shout of winning the league, playing fantastic football, which is all that you can ask."