Todd Boehly suggested that elite English football should have an All-Star match
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp became the unofficial spokesman for those taking aim at Todd Boehly after the new Chelsea owner outlined US-style plans for the English Premier League.
American Boehly led a consortium that bought the West London club from former owner Roman Abramovich in a Pound 4.5 billion ($5.2 billion) deal in late May, but has already been criticized by Manchester United icon Gary Neville for his seemingly scattergun approach in the summer transfer window, as well as attracting a rebuke from the likes of Liverpool legend Graeme Souness for sacking manager Thomas Tuchel just weeks into the new season.
At the ‘Salt’ conference in his homeland on Tuesday, Boehly again raised eyebrows by proposing a new match for the English top flight.
“People are talking about why don’t we have more money for the [football] pyramid? MLB [Major League Baseball] did their All-Star game this year,” the part-LA Dodgers owner explained.
“They made $200m from a Monday and a Tuesday, you could do a North vs South All-Star game from the Premier League to fund the pyramid very easily,” Boehly suggested.
Probed on the concept following his team’s 2-1 home win over Ajax in the Champions League, Liverpool boss Klopp scoffed at Boehly and noted that he hadn’t “waited long” to try tinkering with the status quo.
“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 so they’re quite happy to do a little bit of sport in these breaks.
“It’s completely different in football,” Klopp insisted.
“What can I say? Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well and let them play against a football team?
“I’m surprised by the question so please don’t judge my answers too much but maybe he can explain it to me at some point and find a proper date [for the match].
“I’m not sure too many people want to see that. Imagine that – Manchester United players, Liverpool players and Everton players all together in one team. It’s not a national team.
“Interesting game… and all the London guys together. Arsenal and Tottenham… did he really say that? Interesting…” Klopp finished.
On Twitter, a popular Daily Mail reporter with a following of nearly 450,000 continued the derision.
“What’s Todd Boehly’s next big idea for English football going to be? No ties?
“Penalty shoot-balls at the end of every game? Singing ‘take me out to the ballgame’ after 70 minutes’.
On the same format, a user mentioned Boehly’s All-Star plans and those for a “relegation tournament for the bottom four teams.”
“Can the Government sell Chelsea back to Roman, please,” they then demanded.
Elsewhere, there were further facepalms as Boehly remarked on former Chelsea flops who went on to become big stars elsewhere in Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
“We have one of the best academies in the world. If you look at what our academy has developed, our academy is Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne,” Boehly said, also at the Salt conference.
“We have 10 or 11 players right now that are either on loan or controlled by us, we have the right to buy them back, or they’re playing for our team or academy,” he added.
With Belgium midfielder De Bruyne signed from domestic club Genk aged 20 in 2012, and Salah acquired from Basel in January 2014 after also making his bones in his native country, Egypt, this was another to add to Boehly’s growing list of clangers.