Jurgen Klopp has poured scorn on the idea of a US-style all-star Premier League game floated by new Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly, asking whether the Harlem Globetrotters will be also be involved. Blues’ new co-owner Boehly, who also has stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and LA Lakers basketball team, told a New York conference he has already floated the idea with Premier League counterparts.
Both Major League Baseball and basketball’s NBA have all-star exhibition games featuring the best players from the different leagues and conferences. Boehly, speaking at a SALT “thought leadership” conference, suggested that money raised could be used to fund lower levels of the game.
“People are talking about more money for the pyramid – in the MLB All-Star Game this year we made $200mn (£173mn) from a Monday and a Tuesday,” Boehly said. “So we’re thinking we could do a north versus south all-star game for the Premier League, for whatever the pyramid needed quite easily.”
But Klopp strongly criticised Boehly’s proposal, pointing to the already congested English football calendar. “He doesn’t wait long,” said the Liverpool manager. “When he finds a date for that he can call me. In American sports these players have four-month breaks. Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters (exhibition basketball team) as well? Maybe he can explain that. I’m not sure people want to see that – (Man) United players, Liverpool players, City players, Everton players all together. It is not the national team. Did he really say it?”
Boehly, whose consortium completed its takeover of Chelsea in May, also lifted the lid on the club’s sacking of Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel, who led Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2021, was fired last week after an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, with Graham Potter installed as his successor.
Boehly hinted at a deterioration in his relationship with the German. “When you take over any business, you have to make sure you’re aligned with the people who are operating the business,” said the American. “Tuchel is obviously extremely talented and someone who had great success at Chelsea. Our vision for the club was finding a manager who really wanted to collaborate with us, a coach who really wanted to collaborate. It wasn’t about Zagreb, it was about the shared vision for what we wanted Chelsea to look like.”
Boehly also confirmed Chelsea’s plans to run a multi-club model similar to the City Football Group, which owns Premier League champions Manchester City.