Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes there should be greater scrutiny of investment in English football as Chelsea lurch into an uncertain future.
Klopp has expressed sympathy for Chelsea employees, after club owner Roman Abramovich’s assets were frozen by the UK government because of his connection to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The asset freeze means Chelsea are legally unable to conduct player transfers or finalise new contracts, sell merchandise or have match-day attendees outside of season-ticket holders.
The armed conflict in Ukraine has placed Chelsea in consequent uncertainty, but Klopp was sympathetic towards Blues players and staff, currently in a situation considerably outside of their control.
Added to that, he bristled at the idea football should be devoid of blame in the game’s sourcing of money.
“I don’t think it’s really fair to ask me, you’ve been in this country much longer than me,” Klopp said in a pre-match press conference. “Did you care when Roman Abramovich came to this country? Did anybody really care when Newcastle got taken over? Do supporters really care?”
Newcastle United were recently taken over by a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, despite criticism from some observers of that country’s human rights record.
Looking at the investments in English football that have caused controversy, Klopp added: “I think it’s pretty obvious where the money is coming from, so everybody knew it, that’s our fault, society’s fault and now nobody can accept it, so we punish them.
“Not Chelsea’s fault, not at all. In the end, owners are there to lead a club to give financial resources. I think it’s a good idea to think about where the money is coming from.”
On matters regarding Liverpool, the 54-year-old Klopp expressed joy at Joel Matip winning the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for February.
“If there is one player who doesn’t care if you under-rate him, it is Joel Matip. He just enjoys playing football with the team and that’s why we are so glad he got it,” Klopp said.
Meanwhile, Klopp is not concerned by Mohamed Salah not having yet signed a contract extension.
The Egyptian attacker’s current contract expires at the end of next season, in June 2023. Despite Liverpool being as yet unable to finalise an extension, Klopp is not worried about the situation.
“Nothing new has happened and Mo [Salah] is giving everything to the club and the rest will be sorted. The club is in talks with the agents and that’s how it will be,” Klopp said.
Liverpool, sitting second in the table, travel to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.