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Jurgen Klopp takes shot at Chelsea owners: ‘I wouldn’t have survived a year’

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Football

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Jurgen Klopp has taken a dig at the owners of Chelsea, suggesting he wouldn’t have lasted a year as manager of the London club.

Since buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich in May 2022, Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have developed a reputation for cycling through managers, with Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, Bruno Saltor, Frank Lampard and Mauricio Pochettino all having taken charge of at least one game.

The Blues are now searching for another manager, with Leicester boss Enzo Maresca expected to be confirmed in the coming days, after controversially parting company with Pochettino despite a strong end to the season bringing a sense of optimism at Stamford Bridge and securing European football for next year.

Klopp also departed a Premier League club this month but that came on his own terms after a stellar nine years at Liverpool FC which included a Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Super Cup, Club World Cup and two Carabao Cups despite facing the financial might of Manchester City.

During a Q&A at a “Danke Jürgen” tribute night in front of 11,000 fans at the M&S Bank Arena, the German took a shot at Chelsea’s owners while also defending the Reds’ ownership team, Fenway Sports Group.

“Can you imagine LFC as the club with unlimited money?” said Klopp. “Imagine Kylian Mbappe came here. Imagine Bellingham came here, Haaland. It is not us, it just does not fit. We won what we won and we did it the Liverpool way. We had hard conversations and other clubs didn’t do that in the same time.

“We built two new stands, a new training ground, we bought Melwood back – the dumbest idea I ever heard was that we sold it in the first place. The owners do what owners do. Surprise! The owners want to earn money. Sorry to tell you that. It’s not like they earn money on a daily basis: they invest something and that’s how the whole world goes.

“We should be really happy that we have these owners and not guys who bought London clubs and other stuff. I wouldn’t have survived a year at Liverpool (with them in charge). ‘Great development but not good enough, sack him!’ A year later: ‘Sack him’. Then finally they play football where people think they might be back and they sack the manager anyway.

“People always think the grass is greener but we have owners who really feel responsible for the club and work really hard as well to be successful. I felt supported. We did it as good as we could have done and I’m fine with it.”

Jurgen Klopp spoke to Liverpool fans at a “Danke Jürgen” tribute night

Jurgen Klopp spoke to Liverpool fans at a “Danke Jürgen” tribute night (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Klopp also couldn’t resist a dig at Liverpool’s fierce rivals Manchester United over their treatment of Jadon Sancho, who was banished from the first team by Erik ten Hag and eventually loaned to Borussia Dortmund, where he has helped them to a Champions League final.

He said: “If the whole world loses trust and faith in the player then the manager has to be the one behind the player. I cannot just buy into that ‘he’s useless’ stuff like other clubs did by the way. Buying a player for £80m and then sending him out on loan!”

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