Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp issued a sarcastic response to Todd Boehly’s suggestion of a Premier League ‘North vs South’ match.
Chelsea’s American co-owner raised a few eyebrows when he suggested the All-Star game as seen in the NBA and MLB, which he proposed could help raise money for the English football pyramid.
Boehly also suggested that a ‘four-team tournament’ should decide relegation from the Premier League rather than the current three-down format.
‘Why wouldn’t we do a tournament with the bottom four teams? Why isn’t there an All-Star game?’ Boehly asked at the SALT conference in New York.
‘You could do a North vs South All-Star game in the Premier League and fund whatever the pyramid needed very easily.
‘Everyone likes the idea of more revenue for the League.’
But Klopp, speaking after Liverpool beat Ajax in the Champions League thanks to a late Joel Matip goal, gave the idea short shrift when asked about it in his post-match press conference.
Breaking into a wide grin, Klopp said: ‘He hasn’t waited long! Oh great, when he finds a date for that, he can call me.
‘He forgets that in the big sports in America, these players have four-month breaks and they are quite happy they can do a little bit of sport in these breaks. It is completely different in football.
‘What can I say? Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well and let them play against a football team?’
Giving the concept a little more thought, Klopp added: ‘I am surprised by the question so please don’t judge my answers too much. Maybe he can explain it to me at one point and find a proper date.
‘I’m not sure people want to see that. Imagine that – United players, Liverpool players, Everton players all together on one team.
‘It’s not the national team, it’s just the north-west and the north-east together and the south? Ok, north versus south means northeast and Newcastle. Interesting game.
‘And all the London guys together – Arsenal, Tottenham, great. Did he really say it? Great.’