After a summer of “sports directing” that ended up with him firing his Champions League-winning coach, Todd Boehly, the frontman of a consortium that purchased Chelsea, took to a discussion at the SALT Conference, a global thought leadership and networking forum, in New York to fire off some thoughts on the English game.
“Ultimately I hope that the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports and really starts to figure out why wouldn’t we do a tournament with the bottom four teams, why isn’t there an all-star game?”
“People are talking about more money for the pyramid — MLB [Major League Baseball] did their All-Star Game in L.A. this year, we made $200 million from a Monday and a Tuesday. You could do a north versus south all-star game for the Premier League to fund whatever the pyramid needed very easily.”
Ew. I could perhaps be talked into a Bundesliga-style relegation play-off, which is a game that has always delivered on the drama... but a tournament of the bottom four just sounds like three more games of crap football to me. Hard pass on that.
Asked for his thoughts on a potential All-Star game after Liverpool’s victory against Ajax last night, Liverpool FC manager Jürgen Klopp didn’t mince his words:
“He doesn’t wait long. 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.”
“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?”
“I am surprised by the question so please don’t judge my answer too much. But maybe he can explain it to me at some point and find a proper date.”
“Not sure people want to see that. Imagine that: [Manchester] United players, Liverpool players, Everton players altogether in one team. It is not a national team. North against south. That means north east [too], Newcastle... interesting game. And all the London guys together, Arsenal, Tottenham, great. Did he really say it? Interesting.”
I’m with the manager on this one. Less meaningless football, please. Hell, we need less football in general.