Premier League English

Jurgen Klopp directs salvos at Chelsea as former Liverpool boss criticises Erik ten Hag for key Man United decision

Departed Reds manager Jurgen Klopp mischievously took aim at former rivals Manchester United and Chelsea as he said goodbye to Liverpool fans at a Q&A event hosted in his honor on Tuesday night.

The 56-year-old, who has since been replaced by Feyenoord’s Arne Slot after he made the decision to leave the club this summer, was at a Q&A event in front of 10,000 supporters at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, breaking down in tears as fans chanted his name.

Holding court with his customary flair of a diplomat, Klopp joked that he had been told to avoid discussing topics such as referees, VAR, 12:30pm kick-offs and also financial matters, and instead turned his attention to rivals clubs.

Questioning Chelsea’s decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino, Klopp revealed his immense relief that he worked with Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group and not the seemingly trigger-happy ownership led by Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge.

“We should be really happy we have them [Fenway Sports Group] and not guys who bought London clubs,” Klopp said. “I wouldn’t have survived a year at Liverpool [with them].

“Finally they [Chelsea] play football which everyone thinks ‘Oh, they might be back’ and then they sack the manager anyway.

“The owners [at Liverpool] feel responsible for the club. Are they the best in the world? I don’t know, I can’t say. But they worked really hard. I felt supported.”

Klopp also saw it fit to criticise Erik ten Hag’s abominable treatment of Jadon Sancho, who was cast out into the cold for months and spent the second-half of the season on loan at Borussia Dortmund after his fall-out with the United gaffer.

Sancho had struggled to produce his best form consistently in a United shirt after having arrived at Old Trafford from Dortmund in 2021 but Klopp was adamant that the winger deserved more support, rather than being thrown under the bus and shipped out of the club.

“If the whole world loses trust and faith in the player, the manager has to be the one behind the player,” Klopp said.

“I cannot just buy into that ‘he’s useless’, like other clubs did by the way – buying a player for £80million and then sending him out on loan!”