Directors to blame for Ranieri's sack: Klopp

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has denied player power is on the rise and claimed the biggest threat to managers such as Claudio Ranieri are directors with a direct line of communication to the dressing room.

Ranieri was sacked as Leicester City manager on Thursday amid reports of a dressing-room revolt.

Senior Leicester players are believed to have met the club's owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and his son, the vice-chairman Aiyawatt, hours after the 2-1 Champions League defeat by Sevilla to voice their dissatisfaction with the Italian.

However, Klopp is unconvinced by claims that player power got Ranieri the sack.

"Players are not more powerful, we were much more powerful as players in the past," the German said on Sunday.

"It depends always on the board and if there is a direct way to the board.

"If the owners sit with the players and ask 'How are you?' and they will say 'Not too good' then it is 'Why?' 'Because of the manager.'

"I have never had this situation where there is a direct line to the owner or whatever. As long as the players talk together there is no problem. If they start talking about you? For this you need an ear on the other side.

"It is not about how powerful. The players need to be powerful but not in sacking managers. They never did it. It's not like the Leicester players did it or something. Someone asked and they gave an answer."

Klopp had seven-year spells as manager at both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund and, while success undoubtedly enabled him to leave the two German clubs on his own terms, he believes a respectful working relationship with players ensured he has never been sacked.

"I don't know if it's weakness (when a board contacts players) but it's the situation," he said. "I never had it but I know it has happened."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2017, with the headline 'Directors to blame for Ranieri's sack: Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe