Jurgen Klopp last week claimed Liverpool were unable to compete with Manchester City due to the wealth of the champions’ owners.
Jurgen Klopp has insisted his comments about Manchester City’s ownership were not in any way xenophobic.
Last week, ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with the reigning Premier League champions at Anfield – which ended 1-0 to the Reds – Klopp said his side were unable to compete with City due to the financial strength of their owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, who bought the club in 2008.
City have also gone from the Premier League to a dominant force in English football, winning the title six times since 2012.
In fact, four of the last five Premier League titles have gone City’s way, with Liverpool pushing them hard in two of those seasons and winning the top flight themselves in 2020.
Klopp said: “There are three clubs in world football that can do what they want financially.
It was thought to target City, Paris Saint-Germain – owned by Qatar Sports Investments – and Newcastle United, which are majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
When Klopp was told in a press conference that his comments were seen by some as xenophobic, the Liverpool manager replied: “I know myself. And you can’t hit something that’s miles away from my personality.”
“If I was—I don’t remember the word—like that, I’d hate it. I would hate myself for being like this.
“I’ve said things many times that were a little open to misunderstanding. I know that.”
“It wasn’t intentional, it’s just sometimes you say things and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, it can be interpreted that way,’ but this is not one of those moments. Absolutely.”
“It started with a question [how to compete with City] and I answered it and everything else came from that.
“I know what I was thinking, I put it in perspective and said how much I respect what they’re doing and it still wasn’t right for some.
It has been reported that City’s hierarchy believe Klopp’s pre-match comments raised tensions ahead of Sunday’s game on Merseyside, during which away fans sang chants referring to the disasters at the stadium – later condemned by Liverpool – while Pep Guardiola claimed he threw coins at him as his club . he said he was the target of shots from home fans.
Klopp was sent off after a furious confrontation with an official and now faces charges from the Football Association for his behavior on the touchline.