On the day Newcastle confirmed that Steve Bruce would lead the team for their Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow, Rangers head coach Steven Gerrard refused to rule himself out of the running for the role, while other top-flight managers expressed their concerns over the takeover.
None were more critical than Klopp, who expressed his surprise at the lack of a Premier League response to the creation of a “super team” owned by a country with the resources of the “wealthiest family on the planet”.
“A few months ago, we had a massive issue – the whole football world – with 12 clubs trying to build a super league. Rightly so. It didn’t happen,” Klopp said. “This is trying to create a super team, if you want. It is pretty much the same. Guaranteed spots in the Champions League, in a few years’ time.”
Klopp added: “If we only talk about football, then in the long term, of course, we have to say that they are going to be a superpower.
“This is the third club in world football that I know of that belongs to a country and that obviously belongs to the wealthiest family on the planet.
“The possibilities that open up are, of course, immense. With the Super League, the whole world was justifiably upset about it. It’s basically like the Super League now – just for one club. Then Newcastle are guaranteed to play a dominant role in world football for the next 20 or 30 years.”
Klopp also hit out at Premier League chief executive Richard Masters for his failure to issue a statement explaining how and why a nation with Saudi Arabia’s human-rights record was permitted to push ahead with the £305 million (€361m) deal, despite previous opposition.
“I was actually waiting for some official statements about it, like from Richard Masters or somebody else because we all know there are obviously some concerns about human-rights issues,” Klopp said.
Klopp also had a dig at football’s authorities for failing to clarify if Financial Fair Play rules were still active. “With how Financial Fair Play is used nowadays, nobody knows if it still exists or not,” he said.
“Newcastle fans will love it. There is a new superpower in Newcastle. Money cannot buy everything, but over time they have enough money to make wrong decisions and then right decisions, then they will be where they want to be.”
Meanwhile, Leicester City manager Rodgers reiterated his commitment to his current position.
“I’m 100pc committed. I’ve got a contract until 2025. I absolutely love being here,” said Rodgers, who admitted the takeover on Tyneside would make it even harder to “disrupt” the Premier League’s elite.
Leicester have regularly unsettled the established ‘big six’ since his appointment in February 2019, but he said: “If there’s that level of money there and an infrastructure put in place which allows that money to be directed wisely, then absolutely (it makes it harder).
“We’ve all seen the reports on what they want to do over the next five to 10 years and if that is the plan, and there is investment in order to do that, then of course it’s going to add another team that makes it even more difficult to arrive into those top positions.”
Elsewhere, former Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez confirmed he was not interested in a return to St James’ Park, with the Everton head coach adding: “I stay here. I am really happy. I gave my word.”