Klopp unfazed by Boehly’s All-Star Game idea

LONDON: Chelsea owner Todd Boehly’s call for an “all-star game” in the Premier League, similar to that in the United States, was briefly dismissed by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

American Boehly, head of a consortium that completed a £4.25 billion ($4.91 billion) takeover of Chelsea in May, suggested at a conference in New York that a North versus South game would create revenue that would filter down the English football pyramid.

However, Klopp thinks the idea is unworkable and points to an already overcrowded fixture list.

“He doesn’t wait long. If he finds an appointment, he can call me. In American sports, these players have a four-month break,” said Klopp after his team’s Champions League victory against Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday.

“Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters too?”

Boehly, a partner in the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Sparks basketball teams, believes a game similar to the NBA All-Star Game, which pits Eastern Conference players against the Western Conference in February, could catch on in Britain.

“Ultimately, I hope the Premier League learns a little bit from American sport,” Boehly said at the SALT executive conference in New York on Tuesday.

“People are talking about more money for the pyramid; in the MLB All-Star game this year, we made $200 million on a Monday and a Tuesday. So we think we could do a North vs South All Star game for the Premier League for everything the pyramid needed, really easy.”

Teams for the NBA All-Star Game are selected through fan, player, and media voting.

But Klopp believes Premier League fans would remain unimpressed.

“Maybe[Boehly]can explain that. I’m not sure people want to see this – [Manchester] United players, Liverpool players, Everton players all together. Also northeast, so Newcastle.

“It’s not the national team. All Londoners together, Arsenal, Tottenham (Hotspur), great. Did he really say that?”

($1 = 0.8654 pounds)

(This story corrects the first name Boehly to lead)