Klopp and play­ers ac­cused of stok­ing fan dis­or­der

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Chris Bas­combe

Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp and his play­ers have been ac­cused of fu­elling the dis­or­derly be­hav­iour by groups of their fans in the city last week in the wake of the club’s first league ti­tle win in 30 years. MPs will to­day grill Premier League chief ex­ec­u­tive Richard Masters over the scenes, which Klopp ad­mit­ted he “did not love”.

Jur­gen Klopp says the fi­nan­cial un­cer­tainty caused by Covid-19 means Liver­pool are un­likely to in­vest heav­ily in the squad to build on Premier League glory, but in­stead will back his next gen­er­a­tion to be­come “in­ter­nal trans­fers”.

Klopp ac­knowl­edged the pan­demic has had a pro­found im­pact on moves in and out this sum­mer. He in­sisted none of his world-class play­ers would be leav­ing, but con­firmed prudence would force the cham­pi­ons to take a step back from adding more stel­lar names.

“Covid has, of course, in­flu­enced both sides, with ins and outs,” said Klopp. “It’s just not likely that it will be the most busy sum­mer in the world. But maybe at a later point in the year, if the trans­fer win­dow is still open, we will know more.

“But this squad, look at it. It is not a squad you have to change now and say, ‘OK, we need this po­si­tion and this po­si­tion’.

“If you are a foot­ball sup­porter, even if you are com­pletely happy with ev­ery­one, you want back-ups. We don’t have a first XI, we have a first 16 or 17. They can all play to the same level. And what we want to cre­ate are our trans­fers in­ter­nally. So now [you see] the first glimpses of Neco Wil­liams, Cur­tis Jones, Har­vey El­liott, Ki-Jana Ho­ever. All th­ese boys have done re­ally well.

“We can­not spend mil­lions be­cause we want to or we think it is nice to do. We never wanted that. We want to strengthen this squad and this squad is strong. The prob­lem with a strong squad is how do you im­prove a strong squad on the trans­fer mar­ket?

“It works with money, ob­vi­ously, that is pos­si­ble. But it never works only with money. You have to be creative and we try to be. We try to find so­lu­tions in­ter­nally.”

With Liver­pool los­ing mil­lions from gate re­ceipts alone due to be­hind-closed-doors foot­ball, no sen­si­ble club can op­er­ate as nor­mal. And Klopp sees no pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing his ma­jor play­ers.

“I am very con­fi­dent that we can keep the team to­gether, but all the rest of the plan­ning is on­go­ing with­out know­ing,” he said. “I don’t know when the new sea­son will start. Nobody knows how the fu­ture will be. Three months ago, nobody knew any­thing about how it would be and now we act a lit­tle bit like ev­ery­thing will be fine again. It is a lit­tle bit early to guess that.

“And in foot­ball now we get con­fronted with how much do you want to spend? How much can you spend if you don’t know how much you can have? What I can say is, this team will not stop want­ing it. It is just not in their na­ture.”

Klopp knows the dif­fer­ent chal­lenge of be­ing cham­pi­ons, hav­ing de­fended the Bun­desliga crown with Dort­mund in 2011-12, al­though he says cir­cum­stances there were dif­fer­ent. “There was ab­so­lutely no pres­sure in Dort­mund to win the ti­tle again be­cause we had no chance in 2011 and the worst thing you can do in Ger­many is fire up [Bay­ern] Mu­nich,” Klopp said.

“That is not a good idea usu­ally, be­cause they strike back pretty heav­ily. When we be­came cham­pi­ons in 2011 nobody told us we had to be­come cham­pi­ons again.

“That was a dif­fer­ent time. You can­not com­pare the sit­u­a­tions. Peo­ple may ex­pect from us to win the league again. That is pos­si­ble. But I will not go into the sea­son like this.”

Mean­while, for­mer An­field de­fender An­dre Wis­dom, who now plays for Derby, is re­cov­er­ing in hos­pi­tal af­ter be­ing stabbed and robbed while he was vis­it­ing a rel­a­tive in Liver­pool on Satur­day night.

Creative: Jur­gen Klopp says Liver­pool want to bol­ster their squad from within the club

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