Klopp says breaches of fi­nan­cial fair play must be pun­ished

Man­ager ad­mits sea­son feels less suc­cess­ful than the points shown

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER - Andy Hunter Re­ports

Liver­pool v Ful­ham An­field, to­mor­row, 12.0 Live on BT Sport 1 Jür­gen Klopp has said Uefa must take ac­tion against any club found to have flouted its rules on fi­nan­cial fair play.

Manch­ester City and Paris Saint-Ger­main were ac­cused of over­valu­ing spon­sor­ship deals to meet FFP rules in ar­ti­cles pub­lished by Ger­man mag­a­zine Der Spiegel this week. The al­le­ga­tions were based on doc­u­ments re­leased by Foot­ball Leaks and claimed Uefa was not aware of the ex­tent of the al­leged de­cep­tion when, in City’s case, im­pos­ing a £49 mil­lion (¤56m) fine – £32m of which was sus­pended – in 2014. City and PSG have de­nied wrong­do­ing.

Klopp is the first high-pro­file Premier League man­ager other than Pep Guardi­ola to dis­cuss FFP since the al­le­ga­tions. The Liver­pool man­ager said yes­ter­day he had yet to read Der Spiegel’s ac­cu­sa­tions but be­lieves Eu­ro­pean foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body must sanction any club in breach of the reg­u­la­tions for FFP to re­main fit for pur­pose.

Dif­fi­cult

“It is re­ally dif­fi­cult to com­ment but what I can say in gen­eral is that FFP is a re­ally good thing,” Klopp said.

“But we al­ways thought that, if it is in place, they have to do some­thing with it. I have no clue what hap­pens. I know it is about Paris and Man City. I’m not sure if other clubs are be­ing talked about. I think FFP is a re­ally good thing be­cause it sets the rules. If ev­ery­thing is fine, then ev­ery­thing is fine. If not, then some­body should do some­thing. That’s all I can say but I have no clue about the real story.”

Liver­pool are in close com­pe­ti­tion with City and PSG in the Premier League and Cham­pi­ons League re­spec­tively. Klopp, how­ever, re­jected the idea that Liver­pool’s ri­vals are not com­pet­ing on a level play­ing field.

“For me that is not im­por­tant. We have bet­ter cir­cum­stances than other clubs. We have much bet­ter cir­cum­stances than Hud­der­s­field, for ex­am­ple, but they don’t blame us and say we have to find a rule so we have the same sit­u­a­tion. It’s not like that.”

More credit

Klopp has said Liver­pool’s sea­son should not be judged solely on win­ning the Premier League and feels his team de­serve more credit than has been be­stowed so far.

Liver­pool, who have de­nied a re­port in the US that the club is qui­etly on the mar­ket for sale, can equal their high­est points tally af­ter 12 games of a Premier League sea­son with vic­tory over Ful­ham to­mor­row. An­other clean sheet would de­liver the low­est tally of goals con­ceded – five – at the same stage.

Klopp ac­cepts ex­pec­ta­tions are higher this sea­son, hav­ing reached the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal in May and out­spent ev­ery other Premier League club in the summer trans­fer win­dow. How­ever, he be­lieves a re­turn of 27 points from a pos­si­ble 33 has not gen­er­ated the pos­i­tiv­ity it mer­its be­cause of the absence of last sea­son’s flow­ing foot­ball and the form of ti­tle ri­vals.

The Liver­pool man­ager, who led the in­quest into Tues­day’s Cham­pi­ons League de­feat at Red Star Bel­grade on the re­turn to Mel­wood the fol­low­ing day, said: “It was more a gen­eral meet­ing about our sit­u­a­tion and what we ex­pect from our­selves. The sea­son so far, point-wise, is re­ally suc­cess­ful but it doesn’t feel like that for two rea­sons: the com­par­i­son with last year and the free-flow­ing foot­ball, and Man City, Chelsea and the oth­ers who are play­ing a very good sea­son as well.

“You see it this week. We strug­gle in Bel­grade and they [City] win 6-0. It’s a big gap. It feels a bit like that this sea­son can only be a suc­cess if we be­come cham­pion, in a year when our com­peti­tors are the cham­pion of last year and the cham­pion of two years ago. That’s a re­ally tough job.

– Guardian

Jür­gen Klopp: “It is dif­fi­cult to com­ment but FFP is a re­ally good thing”

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