Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Newcastle United are a new footballing “superpower” following their £305m Saudi Arabian-backed takeover.
Newcastle have become one of the richest clubs in the world after the Premier League approved the takeover, which sees the Public Investment Fund provide 80 per cent of the funds for the deal, earlier this month.
Klopp is in no doubt that the financial power Newcastle, who sit second from bottom in the Premier League, now possess gives them the chance to create a “super team” amid reports the club will sign renowned world stars in upcoming transfer windows.
“What will it mean for football? A few months ago, we had a massive issue in the football world with 12 clubs trying to build a Super League,” said Klopp.
“It didn’t happen but this is kind of creating a ‘super team’ if you want. It is pretty much the same. Guaranteed spot in the Champions League. In a few years’ time, not immediately. With how financial fair play is used nowadays where nobody knows exactly whether it is still existing or not.
“Newcastle fans will love it of course but of course for us, it just means there is a new superpower in Newcastle. I can’t avoid that.
“Money cannot buy everything but over time they have enough money to make a few wrong decisions to then make the right decisions and then they will be where they want to be.”
The Premier League approved the takeover after receiving “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club.
However, Klopp described Newcastle as the third club to be “owned by a country”, pointedly referring to investment from Gulf states into football at Manchester City and Paris St Germain.
“As far as I know it is the third club to be owned by a country,” he said. “I am not sure how many countries are out there to have the financial power and interest to do so.”
Amnesty International has urged the Premier League to change its owners’ and directors’ test “to address human rights issues”.
“I was waiting for an official statement from Richard Masters or somebody else,” added Klopp. “We all know there are obviously concerns about human rights issues. I think it is all clear that we think the same there.”
Premier League chief executive Masters held a meeting with the other 19 clubs this week to discuss their concerns over the takeover.
Sky Sports News has contacted the Premier League regarding Klopp’s comments.
Liverpool send Alisson and Fabinho to Spain after Brazil duty; pair to miss Watford trip
Klopp confirmed Brazil pair Alisson Becker and Fabinho are heading straight to Spain from international duty with Brazil to complete their Covid-19 quarantine and will miss the visit to Watford on Saturday.
The pair will travel to Madrid – where they face Atletico in the Champions League on Tuesday – in order for them to complete their necessary 10 days’ quarantine so a return to England later next week will leave them free of any restrictions.
“We had to sort quarantine issues and the decision we made is the boys will not be here, they will go directly to Madrid, wait there for us, hopefully be able to play against Atletico, then will come back slightly later than us, so then they can come back in our normal procedure again,” said Klopp.
“Obviously they could have flown into England but with all the quarantine stuff that would have meant they would have to isolate from their families and Ali has three kids and being away with the national teams and then 10 days in isolation with the same rubbish again… we need solutions for that and they are still not there.
“They have played in Brazil so they already had four days there not in a red-list country and that’s what counts.
“Then another six days not in a red-list country then they can come back and start immediately so even when they go from bubble to bubble to bubble it is still 10 days and for us that is the solution.”
Klopp: Jones injured on U21s duty – why did he need to play against Andorra?
Klopp also expressed his annoyance at Curtis Jones returning from international duty with the England U21s with an injury which also rules him out of the trip to Vicarage Road.
“Curtis Jones came back injured. Great. That’s not OK as well but it is really difficult to get in proper contact even with the English federation because they do what they want,” he said.
“He didn’t train, wasn’t involved in the first game and then he played a few minutes in the second game against Andorra – great.”
Klopp, who celebrated his six-year anniversary in charge of Liverpool during the international break, added sarcastically: “Very important he played there. Came back with a slight injury and not available tomorrow.
“These are the situations we have to deal with and this is why we have these massive squads where we use players like machines.
“When the federations don’t start helping us – and I mean all of them, whoever it is, the Premier League, the FA – they have to think about the game and not their own interests but that is how it is in the moment.
“I’ve talked about it for six or seven years but no-one is listening.”