"Newcastle fans will love it of course but of course for us, it just means there is a new superpower," says Jurgen Klopp; Steven Gerrard, Brendan Rodgers and Rafael Benitez distance themselves from replacing Steve Bruce
Friday 15 October 2021 19:35, UK
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Newcastle United are a new footballing "superpower" following their £305m Saudi Arabian-backed takeover.
Newcastle have become one of the richest clubs in the world after the Premier League approved the takeover, which sees the Public Investment Fund provide 80 per cent of the funds for the deal, earlier this month.
Klopp is in no doubt that the financial power Newcastle, who sit second from bottom in the Premier League, now possess gives them the chance to create a "super team" amid reports the club will sign renowned world stars in upcoming transfer windows.
"What will it mean for football? A few months ago, we had a massive issue in the football world with 12 clubs trying to build a Super League," said Klopp.
"It didn't happen but this is kind of creating a 'super team' if you want. It is pretty much the same. Guaranteed spot in the Champions League. In a few years' time, not immediately. With how financial fair play is used nowadays where nobody knows exactly whether it is still existing or not.
"Newcastle fans will love it of course but of course for us, it just means there is a new superpower in Newcastle. I can't avoid that.
"Money cannot buy everything but over time they have enough money to make a few wrong decisions to then make the right decisions and then they will be where they want to be."
The Premier League approved the takeover after receiving "legally binding assurances" that the Saudi state would not control the club.
However, Klopp described Newcastle as the third club to be "owned by a country", pointedly referring to investment from Gulf states into football at Manchester City and Paris St Germain.
"As far as I know it is the third club to be owned by a country," he said. "I am not sure how many countries are out there to have the financial power and interest to do so."
Amnesty International has urged the Premier League to change its owners' and directors' test "to address human rights issues".
"I was waiting for an official statement from Richard Masters or somebody else," added Klopp. "We all know there are obviously concerns about human rights issues. I think it is all clear that we think the same there."
Premier League chief executive Masters held a meeting with the other 19 clubs this week to discuss their concerns over the takeover.
Sky Sports News has contacted the Premier League regarding Klopp's comments.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has been linked with replacing Steve Bruce as Newcastle boss.
But speaking on Friday, Gerrard said: "I don't really react or get involved in any kind of speculation.
"Especially when there is someone who I have the utmost respect for sitting in that job that the speculation is about.
"For me, I am in a very big job here that I am fully focused on and we have a top-of-the-table clash at the weekend and it is a game I am very much looking forward to.
"But I certainly have one eye on Newcastle in terms of Brucie getting his 1000th game, a great character of the game, someone whom I have a personal relationship with and the utmost respect for.
"I am looking forward to seeing him getting his 1000th game, I think it is a massive achievement so congratulations to him at the weekend."
Everton manager Rafael Benitez led Newcastle for three years between 2016 and 2019.
The Spaniard was publicly critical of former owner Mike Ashley but insisted he is committed to his current role as Everton boss.
Benitez said: "I can tell you that I have a lot of friends and they were asking me the same question. But from day one when I was talking with the board here, they didn't need to worry about that because I decide to stay here.
"I'm really happy and it's just trying to improve everything that I can here and focus. I'm wishing them all the best but this time when I decide to stay here I keep my word and I continue working here."
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has also been linked with replacing Bruce.
He insists he is happy at Leicester and committed to the club, ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Manchester United.
"I have got a contract until 2025, I absolutely love being here," he said.
"I'm very fortunate. I've got a great chief executive and a director of football who I have a close relationship with and a group of players that I really really enjoy working with."
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said: "In general yes, I think it's normal people have concerns. We trust the Premier League - they have accepted and they are the authorities in this case.
"They have allowed it and Newcastle have new owners. The new owners seem to be promising for a famous club in England and it seems we have a new competitor for titles and places in the top ranking.
"We play in the toughest league and it always seems to get tougher."
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "Of course, it's not been my focus but I've noticed it happened. I didn't think it was going to go through but now it has and it is going to change the picture.
"I don't know the plans of the new owners, I can't say if they're going to spend loads of money or what they're going to do. It's a fantastic football club with traditions, I enjoyed that spell when Newcastle were up there [in the 90s].
"Short-term, it's not going to change but, long-term, it's gonna be interesting to watch and it has been the talk of football the last two weeks and if they can do that with the results, that's what they want.
"But as I said, it's not my focus. I don't want to join in that political discussion."