Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a good coach. His results on the pitch prove that beyond doubt. He is also an intelligent man. He is so intelligent in fact that he knows how to rally the world behind him, especially the one revolving around Anfield. His recent comments on Liverpool’s transfer plans reveal as much.
The German will go to any length to show how his competitors have an unfair advantage over his side. That makes his success look even more remarkable and positions him in the sight of his believers as grandiose. For a man seeking such without out rightly stating the fact, it’s not surprising then that he will go to such lengths as to out rightly misrepresent the facts just to achieve his purpose.
Take a look at his comments ahead of Premier League resumption when questioned about his club’s transfer dealings.
“Clubs are in different situations and we are living in uncertainty in the world.
“For some clubs it seems to be less important how uncertain the future is because they are owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, and that is the truth.
“We are a different kind of club. We reached the Champions League final two years ago, won it the following year and won the Premier League by being the club we are,” he told BBC Sport 5.
Observe that he is insinuating that clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea are owned by countries and oligarchs which enables them to spend outlandish amounts on transfers. That in turn gives these sides an unfair advantage over his team. So for him to still beat them to the league title and even win the Champions League with meager funds, he must be a genius.
He even says that is the truth. Unfortunately, it’s not.
First of all, Man City is not owned by a country. The club is owned by the Abu Dhabi Group (a business entity) who have a majority stake. Just like Liverpool is owned by a business entity Fenway Sports Group. Chelsea and Arsenal by businessmen Roman Abramovic and Stan Kroenke. Manchester United by the Glazer business family while Tottenham’s Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy round off the top six club owners.
It’s true that Manchester City ownership has made significant investments into the club in the last decade to compete. But none of the other top six sides has failed to invest as well. In fact, looking only at the last decade is often used to cast City in bad light. Why not go 20, 30, 40 years down the line let’s see who has made the most investment over time?
Continuous investment that entailed buying the best players on offer ensured that Manchester United and Arsenal dominated the first two decades of the Premier League era.
United were winning the league back-to-back for three years consecutively like a birthright. They had the Rio Ferdinands, David Beckhams, Cristiano Ronaldos and Wayne Rooneys of this world (to mention but a few). But other clubs like Man City struggled in mid-table and battled relegation without complaint.
It would make sense if clubs like Burnley, Leeds United and Sheffield United complained about an unfair advantage. As it stands, these are the only Premier League clubs not owned by billionaires.
So for Jurgen Klopp to be the one casting aspersions at other clubs when he is doing exactly the same thing is hypocritical to say the least.
Let’s look at some numbers here. Jurgen Klopp’s transfer expenditure in 2018 was as follows (Per TM):
Xherdan Shaqiri - £13.23m
Fabinho - £40.50
Naby Keita - £54.00m
Alisson Becker - £56.25m
Virgil Van Dijk - £76.19m
Total = £240.17m
That massive strengthening of the squad produced a Champions League trophy and EPL title. A FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year award for the manager was icing on the cake to complete the celebration.
Meanwhile, Man City spent just £70.73m in 2018.
Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal spent £187.92m, £74.43m and £72.14m respectively.
How is it that Liverpool outspent each other club in the land in 2018 and no one complained but the same coach that bought those players is complaining about other clubs two years down the line?
What is even more disturbing is the fact that even Chelsea that has been the biggest spenders in this transfer window have spent less than £240m so far. That’s less than Klopp spent in 2018.
Would the former Borussia Dortmund gaffer remind the world that his massive investment to revamp his squad have yielded the right results? Of course not.
Instead, he tells everyone that cares to listen how Liverpool are a different club and do things differently. They don’t buy new players. They improve their players through training. Others don’t. How absurd!
“We always want to improve the squad but there are different ways - one way is to sign new players and the other way is to work together, improve the things you were good in and try to nullify the things you are not good in.
“That is football. No-one wants to talk about training and only about signings.”
In the end, the facts speak for themselves. Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are no different from any other ambitious club and manager in the English top flight. They invest hugely, buy players and compete for honours. The least Klopp can do is admit the truth and stop playing to the gallery. It’s surprising how many out there (including the media) buy this obvious hypocrisy.