Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is unimpressed by new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly’s idea of a US style ‘All-Star game’ in the Premier League.
Boehly, part-owner of baseball team the LA Dodgers, and basketball sides the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Sparks, suggested a north v south game.
He said he hopes the Premier League “takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports”.
Klopp said: “Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well?”
The German was asked about Boehly’s idea after Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Ajax in the Champions League.
Earlier in the day at a conference in New York, the American said: “Why don’t we do a tournament with the bottom four sports teams, why isn’t there an All-Star game?
“People are talking about more money for the pyramid, in the MLB All-Star game this year we made $200m (£173m) from a Monday and a Tuesday.
“So we’re thinking we could do a north versus south All-Star game for the Premier League, for whatever the pyramid needed, quite easily.”
The NBA’s All-Star game takes place during the regular season, in February, and pits players from the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference. The starting line-ups for the exhibition match are selected via fan, player, and media voting, with head coaches selecting the reserves for each 12-strong team.
Klopp, who has previously been critical of the crowded football schedule, responded: “When he finds a date for that he can call me. In American sports these players have four-month breaks.
“Maybe he can explain that. I’m not sure people want to see that – [Manchester] United players, Liverpool players, Everton players all together. North-east too, so Newcastle. It is not the national team. All the London guys together, Arsenal, Tottenham, great. Did he really say it?”
When asked what his fellow football club owners would think about an All-Star game Boehly said: “Everyone likes the idea of more revenue for the league.
“I think there’s a real cultural aspect, I think evolution will come.”
Boehly, who led a consortium to a £4.25bn takeover of Chelsea in May, also put forward the suggestion that relegation places for the top-flight could be decided by a four-team tournament, rather than the usual format of the three bottom sides going down automatically.
There is no relegation in the major sports in the US, with the worst performing teams getting first picks of new talent in a draft which leads to accusations of teams “tanking” for an improved pick.
“The economics of going into the Championship are materially different,” he added.
“When you go into the Championship those numbers fall off a cliff. So there’s no one thinking about tanking, and those relegation games are some of the highest broadcast games.” (BBC)