CAS call not good for football: Klopp

Right: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah warming up before a match. The Egyptian star is one of the key contributors to the Reds' first English title in 30 years. Below: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp addresses the media at a virtual pres
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah warming up before a match. The Egyptian star is one of the key contributors to the Reds’ first English title in 30 years.PHOTOS: REUTERS, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
Right: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah warming up before a match. The Egyptian star is one of the key contributors to the Reds' first English title in 30 years. Below: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp addresses the media at a virtual pres
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp addresses the media at a virtual press conference ahead of his club’s game against Arsenal today at the Emirates Stadium. The German picks the Gunners to be among their title challengers next season.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) decision to overturn Manchester City's two-year ban from European football was "not a good day for football", said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in a virtual press conference yesterday.

Stating his support for Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP), Klopp said: "FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition, so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources."

In February, Europe's governing football body Uefa banned City from the Champions League for the next two seasons after they were said to have falsely inflated their sponsorship revenues to avoid falling foul of FFP regulations from 2012 to 2016.

But the CAS on Monday overturned the ban, reducing City's fine from €30 million (S$47.6 million) to €10 million and finding the alleged breaches "not established".

FFP was introduced by former Uefa president Michel Platini in 2009 to prevent clubs from spending beyond their means. Following CAS' decision, Uefa said that FFP is likely to undergo changes, but did not provide more details.

Klopp wants it to stay, saying: "If the richest people or countries can do what they want to, that would make it really difficult. That would lead to a world super league with 10 clubs."

City's bid for the European title would at least benefit Liverpool as they try to retain their Premier League title, suggested Klopp.

"They won't have 10 or 12 games less now - no other team would have had a chance in the (Premier) league," he said.

The charismatic manager, who led the Reds to their first league title in three decades, also hailed striker Mohamed Salah for his contributions, calling his signing in 2017, "a good day for Liverpool".

The Egyptian has formed a formidable partnership with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as the trio amassed 250 goals under Klopp.

But the 53-year-old remained coy about the future of Croat Dejan Lovren, who has been linked with a move away from Anfield, saying that the centre-back is "always an important part of the squad".

He also expressed regret at Liverpool not being able to tour internationally in this year's pre-season owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The newly crowned champions were initially scheduled to fly to Singapore this month for the International Champions Cup, but the tournament has been cancelled.

"Now we cannot go anywhere, we realise how nice it would be that we can start doing this again, the tours and all of this because it's important for the club, it's important for the fan base and it's exciting as well," said Klopp.

As the Reds ready for their title defence against the likes of City, Manchester United and Chelsea, Klopp has also added Arsenal to the mix, backing manager Mikel Arteta to lead them in the top-four battle.

Ahead of Liverpool's clash with Arsenal today, Klopp said: "Arsenal are an exciting squad. They have offensive players with massive quality and they're coming up with really good ones and it looks like Arsenal will be challengers again."

• The Straits Times' coverage of Reds manager Jurgen Klopp's virtual press conference was made possible by Standard Chartered Bank.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2020, with the headline 'CAS call not good for football: Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe