Jurgen Klopp has insisted that his comments about Manchester City ownership were in no way xenophobic.
Last week, ahead of Liverpool’s 1-0 draw to the Reds at Anfield at Anfield, Klopp said his side could not compete against City because of the financial strength of their owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group. who bought the club in 2008.
City have gone from being Premier League champions to being the dominant force in English football, having won the title six times since 2012.
Indeed, four of the last five Premier League titles have gone to City, with Liverpool pushing them hard in two of those seasons, as well as winning the top division themselves in 2020.
Klopp said: “There are three clubs in world football that can do what they want financially.”
It was believed to target City, Paris Saint-Germain, owned by Qatar Sports Investments, and Newcastle United, which are majority-owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
When Klopp was told at a press conference that his comments were viewed as xenophobic by some, the Liverpool manager replied: “I know myself. And you can’t hit something that’s far from my personality.
“If I was – I can’t remember the word – like this, I would hate it. I would hate myself for being who I am.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 18, 2022
“I have said many times things that caused misunderstandings. I know it.
“It wasn’t intentional, it’s just that sometimes you say something and you think, ‘Oh my God, this can be interpreted like that’, but this is not one of those moments. Absolutely.
“It all started with a question [about how to compete with City] and I answered it, and everything else was made from it.
“I know what I was thinking and put it into perspective and said how much I respect what they were doing and it still felt wrong for some.”
City management were reported to believe that Klopp’s pre-match comments escalated tensions ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside game, during which visiting fans sang songs referring to the stadium disasters that were later condemned by Liverpool, while Pep Guardiola claimed that coins were thrown at him like at his club. said he had been fired upon by rockets from supporters of the house.
Klopp was sent off after violently colliding with an official and is now facing charges from the Football Association for his behavior on the touchline.