Jürgen Klopp mocks proposal that could impact Arne Slot at Liverpool - 'sea of sharks'

Jürgen Klopp has dismissed a reheated Premier League plan
Jürgen Klopp has dismissed a reheated Premier League plan -Credit:Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has long been an advocate for player welfare. He has spoken up many times in the past when further games and competitions have been suggested or introduced, and he was firmly in favor of teams being allowed to make five substitutions when most of English football preferred to remain in the dark ages.

If Klopp manages again after leaving the Reds this summer, he will no doubt maintain a similar outlook. But the game in England will move on without him, and on Friday he was asked about a Premier League idea which was first floated almost two decades ago.

The possibility of playing league games overseas, namely in the USA, has been brought up again. The concept of a 39th match added to a season and to be played abroad was first floated in 2007. It’s fair to assume Klopp would’ve been against the concept then, and he certainly is now.

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The current proposal is slightly different. NBC Sports reportedly pays $450m (£356m /€418m) a season for exclusive coverage of the Premier League in the USA. As such, it would like to see two matches from the opening weekend of a season staged Stateside, a change that would have a bearing on Klopp's likely successor Arne Slot.

Supporters are against the idea, and fans proved their power when the idea of the European Super League was floated and swiftly withdrawn due to heavy opposition in 2021. Klopp has mocked the suggestion of matches overseas, and admitted he could never imagine working in football administration when the idea was put to him.

“No, I never thought about it, but they will need people in a normal age knowing the business,” he said (via Daily Mail). “But imagine me becoming FIFA president? It is obviously a well-paid job, that is why they all want to do it — not the official part obviously. I don’t think I will spend my lifetime on these kinds of things.

“In the end one person cannot put it right as long as all the rest think, 'Ah, it will be all right, they earn millions, let them play there,' Klopp added, moving onto the subject of games abroad. 'Let's do the first three match days in America' - all really good ideas,” he said sarcastically.

“Alone you can't change anything. I probably wouldn't survive in that sea of sharks. That is not the plan. I don’t think I will do that.”

Considering how opposed to most changes Klopp has been throughout his time in England, no Liverpool fan will be surprised by his comments. He has always been good for a soundbite and has been frequently proved correct. says: With overseas broadcasters contributing so much money to the Premier League, it feels inevitable that matches will be played abroad eventually. But that doesn't make it right that they are.

If ever in doubt with a new idea in football, administrators should just think 'what would Jürgen do?' They usually opt for the opposite.

It's not thought the Premier League has any current plans to stage matches overseas. But the proposal on the table from NBC, coupled with talk of a FIFA rule change to allow major domestic leagues to play games abroad, has certainly brought the topic back onto the agenda.