Jurgen Klopp Says FFP Breaches Should Be Punished Amid Man City Allegations

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2018

BELGRADE, SERBIA - NOVEMBER 06: head coach Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool looks on during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Red Star Belgrade and Liverpool at Rajko Mitic Stadium on November 6, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes UEFA should take action against teams that have been found to have broken the organisation's financial fair play regulations.

Klopp was responding to questions about recent articles published in Der Spiegel featuring allegations against Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The reports suggest the clubs altered deals in order to circumvent the FFP rules.

The German said he is a fan of FFP, and he thinks clubs that don't follow its laws should be punished, per Andy Hunter of the Guardian:

"I have no clue what happens. I know it is about Paris and Man City. I'm not sure if other clubs are being talked about. 

"I think FFP is a really good thing because it sets the rules. If everything is fine, then everything is fine. If not, then somebody should do something. That's all I can say but I have no clue about the real story."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Jurgen Klopp manager / head coach of Liverpool and Pep Guardiola the head coach / manager of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on September 9, 2017 i
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

As relayed by Simon Stone of BBC Sport, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was also asked on his thoughts on the matter:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

Jose Mourinho on @ManCity FFP allegations. "Difficult for me to answer because I focus on my job, on the four lines. If you want to speak about their football potential that starts with investment. After that there is quality of the work, of the org, I think that is untouchable."

Per Hunter, the content of the Der Spiegel articles came from Football Leaks, although both clubs have since denied wrongdoing.

Der Spiegel reported that City's owner Sheikh Mansour topped up the team's sponsorship deals with Abu Dhabi as a way of investing more of his wealth into the club. 

In 2014, City and UEFA agreed to a fine of £49 million after the Manchester outfit were found to have broken FFP rules, although Der Spiegel said European football's governing body "wasn't even entirely aware of the degree to which it had been deceived."

Per the Press Association (h/t the Guardian), UEFA confirmed in September it was reopening an investigation into PSG's finances despite having cleared the club of any irregularities in September.

Rob Harris of the Associated Press noted that the two clubs implicated in the recent allegations have handled them in different ways:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

Man City spent years trying to deny and block coverage of the conduct now exposed football leaks - vindicating reporting on the attempts to circumvent FFP https://t.co/A8AP7bzTVC

Rob Draper of the Mail on Sunday suggested it's irrelevant what anyone thinks of the FFP rules, although important they're followed:

Rob Draper @draper_rob

You’re going to hear a lot in next few days about how UEFA FFP rules were ‘skewed/wrong/bias (sic)/unfair’ All of which is a sideshow, fodder for an entirely different debate The real issue in play is: did Man City systematically attempt to cheat rules they had signed up to?

Liverpool appear set to be in direct competition with City for the Premier League title this season, with just two points separating the sides going into Week 12 of the campaign. Klopp did dismiss any suggestions that their rivals have an unfair advantage, though.

"For me that is not important," he noted. "We have better circumstances than other clubs. We have much better circumstances than Huddersfield [Town], for example, but they don't blame us and say we have to find a rule so we have the same situation."

The Reds are also in the same group as PSG in the UEFA Champions League this season. The two sides meet on November 28 in a fixture that will be crucial to their respective hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the tournament.