Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has responded to Todd Boehly’s idea that the Premier League should introduce a “North vs South All Star game”.
What’s the word?
The Chelsea owner, who took on his current role in May, believes that the Premier League could raise money for the English football pyramid by introducing an exhibition match.
Speaking at the SALT conference, as per the Daily Mail, the American owner said: “I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports and really starts to figure out. Why wouldn’t we do a tournament with the bottom four teams? Why isn’t there an All-Star game?
“You could do a North vs South All-Star game in the Premier League and fund whatever the pyramid needed very easily. Everyone likes the idea of more revenue for the League.”
However, Liverpool boss Klopp took umbrage at the idea, responding to the idea in his post-match press conference after the Reds’ Champions League win over Ajax in midweek.
As per Sky Sports, the German reacted to Boehly’s suggestion by saying: “He doesn’t wait long. When he finds a date for that he can call me. He forgets in American sports these players have four-month breaks so they are quite happy they can do a little bit of sport in these breaks. It’s completely different in football. Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well?
“I’m surprised by the question so please don’t judge my answers too much, but maybe he can explain it to me at one point and find a proper date. I’m not sure people want to see that. Imagine that, (Manchester) United, Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle players all on one team that’s not the national team, just a north team. Interesting game.“
Klopp finished with a somewhat sardonic quip of: “All the London guys together. Arsenal, Tottenham. Great. Did he really say it? Interesting.”
An interesting take
Klopp’s first responses to what would have come as a surprising question made him seem as though he was repulsed at the idea of an ‘All Star’ game. However, the longer he elaborates, you can tell that he is processing the intricacies around the idea, ending with “did he really say that? Interesting…”
The proposal from Boehly seemingly comes from a place with positive intentions, although finding a date for such an occasion in what is an already congested fixture schedule would remain the biggest issue, as Klopp referenced when he says; “he forgets that in the big sports in America these players have four-month breaks so they’re quite happy to do a little bit of sport in these breaks.”
Whilst an “All Star” game may be a stretch too far, the earlier proposal from Boehly regarding a tournament with the bottom four teams is actually logical and would make the relegation battle that bit more enthralling.
Having managed in the Bundesliga for much of his career, Klopp will be perfectly aware of the excitement which comes with a relegation play-off, a tie which sees the teams who finish 16th in the Bundesliga and third in Bundesliga.2 contest in a relegation play-off.
If the Bundesliga.2 team win, they get promoted at the expense of the third-lowest top-flight finishers.
It could certainly spice up the Premier League with an additional fixture and give the team who finish third in the Championship a chance to take part in a stiflingly impactful financial opportunity.
Whilst Anfield hero Klopp initially went in on the Chelsea owner, you cannot argue with the conversation that Boehly has brought to the table – one which has prompted the question of ‘how can we improve on what we’ve already got.’