Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had the perfect response to a question about a hot topic that’s making the rounds in the online world football community. Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is a top trending term on the internet right now due to controversial comments he made yesterday during his appearance at the SALT Conference in New York City.
The American billionaire, just a few months into his tenure as owner of the southwest London giants, said he would be all for the idea of a Premier League All-Star game, one that would pit a North team versus a South team. This concept has gone over, mostly, like a lead balloon.
When Jurgen Klopp was asked about it, during his post match press conference following his side’s thrilling win over Ajax in the Champions League, he slammed it without shame.
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“He doesn’t wait long,” Klopp responded to a reporter question on the idea.
“Great. When he finds a date for that, he can call me. He forgets that in the big sports in America, these players have four-month breaks. It is completely different in football. What can I say? Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well and let them play against a football team?
“I am surprised by the question so please don’t judge my answer too much. But maybe he can explain it to me at some point and find a proper date.
“Not sure people want to see that. Imagine that: [Manchester] United players, Liverpool players, Everton players altogether in one team. It is not a national team. North against south. That means north east [too], Newcastle… interesting game. And all the London guys together, Arsenal, Tottenham, great. Did he really say it? Interesting.”
This is far from the first time that Jurgen Klopp has referenced the Harlem Globetrotters in a press conference, and no doubt, it won’t be the last either. We can all make fun of the Premier League All-Star game idea all we want, and/or we can compose hypothetical teams for an event that will never happen.
But at the end of the day, we really don’t need to care all too much about this talking point because again, it’s never going to actually happen.
Boehly, own also owns part of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the L.A. Lakers, also suggested a tournament be held to decide relegation to the championship. Not sure about that one either!
“Ultimately I hope that 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?” he said at the conference on Tuesday.
“People are talking about more money for the pyramid — MLB [Major League Baseball] did their All-Star Game in L.A. this year, we made $200 million from a Monday and a Tuesday. You could do a north versus south all-star game for the Premier League to fund whatever the pyramid needed very easily.”
Uhm, yeah. Ok, whatever. Good luck with that!
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks