‘Another club owned by a country’: Klopp questions Saudi takeover at ‘new superpower’ Newcastle & what it means for football
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has predicted that Premier League rivals and "new superpower" Newcastle United, who have just been purchased by a Saudi consortium, will play a dominant role in football in the next decades.
The Public Investment Fund's £305 million ($420 million) purchase of an 80% stake in the struggling northeast English outfit has been one of the biggest talking points in the sport.
As relayed last weekend, other clubs in the English top flight reportedly felt put out that they had not been consulted on the deal's progress, and Klopp started off making comments to that extent on Friday.
"I was waiting for some official statement from [Premier League CEO Richard] Masters or someone," Klopp said.
🗣️ "A few months ago we had a massive issue with 12 clubs trying to build a Super League... this is pretty much the same." Jurgen Klopp questions what the Saudi takeover at Newcastle will mean for football, comparing it to the Super League. pic.twitter.com/juJHMCKBCi— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 15, 2021
"Or someone, as there are clearly human rights concerns. That’s clear. Still, that’s the situation. What will it mean for football?" he asked, in reference to allegations lodged at the Kingdom and its Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who ultimately heads the PIF.
"There is a new superpower in Newcastle. [A] few months ago we have massive arguments over Super League, rightly so," Klopp continued.
"But this is creating a super team if you like. With how Financial Fair Play is used where no-one knows if it exists, it’s like it is.
“Newcastle fans will love it but for the rest of us it just means there is a new superpower in Newcastle. We cannot avoid that. Money cannot buy everything but over time they will have enough money to make a few wrong decisions, then make the right decisions, and then they will be where they want to be in the long term.
"Everybody knows that, and obviously the Premier League, Richard Masters, thought: ‘Yeah, let’s give it a go.'"Also on rt.com Unrivaled riches, moral ambiguity & nervy rivals: The big questions raised by the Saudis’ Newcastle takeover
Perhaps resigned to the fact any protests now are too little, too late, Klopp highlighted that Newcastle now boast "immense" potential moving forward.
"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," he said.
"The possibilities that open up are of course immense. It’s basically like the Super League now – just for one club.
"Newcastle will definitely be able to play a dominant role in world football for the next 20 or 30 years," Klopp concluded.
Newcastle's new owners net worth vs. Man City's owners net worth 🤑 pic.twitter.com/q0ghdOljQG— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 7, 2021
Winless in seven games with just three points from a trio of draws, second-from-bottom Newcastle were tipped to axe manager Steve Bruce as the PIF took over the reins.
Ahead of their hosting of Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park, however, part-owner Amanda Staveley released a statement that confirmed the ex-Manchester United legend will stay in charge for his 1,000th career game in the dugout, at least until a suitable replacement is found.
"We have had an extremely busy week reviewing the business and getting to know people and it is imperative that we continue to be patient and considered in our approach," it began.
"Change does not always happen overnight, it demands time and that we follow a carefully considered plan and strategy.
"We met Steve and the players on Monday and have given them the time and space this week to focus on preparing for what is a very important game on Sunday.
Steve Bruce will remain in charge for this weekend's match with Spurs, his 1,000th in management, the club have confirmed pic.twitter.com/jFRgc2ESvn— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) October 15, 2021
"Steve has been very professional in our dealings with him and he and his coaching team will take the team on Sunday. If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know but, in the meantime, we wish him the best of luck in his 1,000th match as a manager and will be joining you in getting right behind the team.
"Thank you for the warm welcome you have given us. We can’t wait to be at St James’ Park with you," it was said to the fans signing off.
Later, Bruce described Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi, who is also the managing partner of their PCP Capital Partners firm which has a 10% stake in Newcastle, as "very, very good people" and said "it was good to see them around the training ground".
🎙 Steve Bruce speaks to the media ahead of #NEWTOT on Sunday."I have to say they [Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi] are very, very good people. It was good to see them around the training ground. If the takeover takes this great club forward then great." pic.twitter.com/czjyzRfLGR— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 15, 2021
"If the takeover takes this great club forward then great," he went on.
"It’s not about me," Bruce also remarked.
"It’s about the club going forward, the team and, more importantly, getting a result on Sunday. There’s times this season where I think we’ve played very well. We need a win to get us moving up the table."