Klopp mocks Chelsea's new American owner idea of All-Star Game in Premier League

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp smiles during his team's warm up before the group A Champions League soccer match between Napoli and Liverpool at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has balked at a suggestion by Chelsea’s new American owner that the Premier League could introduce an All-Star Game between the best players from the north and south.   

Speaking at the SALT conference held in New York on Tuesday, Todd Boehly said he hoped the Premier League might “take a little bit of a lesson from American sports” and have an All-Star Game that would raise money for clubs lower down English soccer’s pyramid.   

The idea was put to Klopp after Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Ajax in the Champions League later in the day and the German coach mocked it.  

 “What can I say — does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well and let them play against a football team?” Klopp said.  

 Klopp’s main issue was that there was no space in an already-crowded soccer calendar to fit such a game.  

 “When he finds a date for that, he can call me,” he said. “He forgets that in the big sports in America, 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.”  

 The MLB, NBA and NHL all hold an All-Star Game in the middle of their seasons. The NFL’s equivalent — the Pro Bowl — now takes place the Sunday before the Super Bowl.  

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly looks out from the stands before the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/David Cliff)

 Boehly, who part-owns MLB team Los Angeles Dodgers and owns shares in the NBA’s LA Lakers, has made his presence felt since fronting the consortium of businessmen who bought Chelsea for 2.5 million pounds (then $3.2 billion) in May.  

 Making himself chairman as well as interim sporting director, Boehly oversaw a record spending spree of $300 million on new players in Europe’s summer transfer window. Then, just seven games into Chelsea’s season, Boehly fired manager Thomas Tuchel and replaced him with Graham Potter from Brighton.  

 With many leading teams — Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and now Chelsea — owned by Americans, perhaps it was inevitable that ideas with a nod to U.S. sports might creep into English soccer.  

Just last year, these four teams, along with Manchester City and Tottenham, attempted to help launch a breakaway European Super League along with clubs from Italy and Spain.   

The proposal collapsed within 48 hours when the English clubs withdrew amid an escalating backlash from their supporters and warnings from the British government that legislation could be introduced to thwart it.  

 Boehly, who part-owns MLB team Los Angeles Dodgers and owns shares in the NBA’s LA Lakers, has made his presence felt since fronting the consortium of businessmen who bought Chelsea for 2.5 million pounds (then $3.2 billion) in May.  

 Making himself chairman as well as interim sporting director, Boehly oversaw a record spending spree of $300 million on new players in Europe’s summer transfer window. Then, just seven games into Chelsea’s season, Boehly fired manager Thomas Tuchel and replaced him with Graham Potter from Brighton.  

 With many leading teams — Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and now Chelsea — owned by Americans, perhaps it was inevitable that ideas with a nod to U.S. sports might creep into English soccer.  

 Just last year, these four teams, along with Manchester City and Tottenham, attempted to help launch a breakaway European Super League along with clubs from Italy and Spain.  

 The proposal collapsed within 48 hours when the English clubs withdrew amid an escalating backlash from their supporters and warnings from the British government that legislation could be introduced to thwart it. 

By Agencies Jan. 27, 2023
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