Pep Guardiola Hits Out at Jurgen Klopp Over Transfer Spending Claims

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If you’re not all that into the Community Shield tomorrow, then perhaps the Jurgen Klopp vs. Pep Guardiola potential feud in the making will pique your interest. Klopp v. Guardiola could develop into the Premier League’s next major manager rivalry, and developments from yesterday’s pre-Community Shield press conferences could really ignite the fire for feud here.

Liverpool and Manchester City will meet in tomorrow’s season curtain raiser at Wembley, and Guardiola admitted yesterday that he’s bothered by Klopp’s talk of City being in “fantasia land” when it comes to transfer spending on player acquisition.

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You can understand why this is such a sensitive subject for anyone involved with Man City, as they are suspected of breaking UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. The club also perfectly embodies the new financial landscape and competitive balance of European football- where only the richest of the super rich have the resources to spend and thus compete.

That’s an issue that goes well beyond the scope of this article, but it’s covered in depth by the June 3 New Yorker article “How Football Leaks is Exposing Corruption in European Soccer,” by Sam Knight, which I suggest you read at some point over at this link.

City is substantially featured in the article.

pep guardiola

“It bothers me because it’s not true that we spend hundreds of millions every transfer window,” Guardiola said before then pointing out how Klopp was doing some pot calling the kettle black.

“It’s Liverpool, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. It’s not a small team. It’s Liverpool. Of course I don’t like it because it’s not true. Last season we spent £17m — one seven — on just one player.”

“We cannot spend £200m every season. That is the reality. Other managers can say what they say but I can only say that is not true.”

City have only signed one player this summer, Rodri, but they broke the club transfer fee record (€70 million), in order to obtain him. This came after they had just broken the club transfer fee record last year, to land Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City.

Meanwhile, the Reds’ net spend last year was £125.1 million, and that included break the world record for a goalkeeper acquisition. Also, until the Harry Maguire transfer is announced as official, the Reds remain owners of the most expensive defender purchased record.

In other words, neither side has a leg to stand on in the “they buy titles, while we’re hamstrung financially” argument.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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  1. Elmo McElroy says

    Liverpool sold Coutinho for over £140M to help finance all their spending. Which players did City sell for millions to finance their purchases? None, yet they are still able to spend money when they need to. Klopp was responding to people asking why Liverpool weren’t spending in this transfer window and his words have been twisted as usual to create headlines. Nothing sells newspapers like a fued between top rival football managers.

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