Jurgen Klopp has insisted that he is ‘definitely’ not xenophobic in response to a claim that was reportedly made with regards to the Liverpool manager’s comments on the financial position of Manchester City. Klopp hit out at the big-spending nature of the Premier League champions prior to Liverpool’s victory over them on Sunday afternoon but is since thought to have been criticised for his remarks by an unnamed official at the club.
The claims were relayed in several newspapers and attributed to an unidentified member of staff at City, who was said to have accused Klopp of ‘borderline xenophobia’ as a result of his comments. The German manager responded on Tuesday by vehemently denying that the claims were true and insisting that there were no grounds for such an accusation to have been made.
“I don’t feel, in this specific case, I don’t feel it at all,” Klopp told reporters. “I know myself, and you cannot hit [me] with something which is miles away from my personality.
“If I was – I cannot remember the word, wow [xenophobic] – like this I would hate it. I would hate myself for being like this.
“I have said a lot of times things that were a little bit open for misunderstanding, I know that. It was not intentionally, just sometimes you say things and you think oh my God, It can be interpreted like this, but this is not one of these moments. Absolutely.”
Klopp had alluded to the wealth of state-backed clubs prior to Liverpool’s recent win over City but made it clear that he was not accusing any specific club of breaking any laws or regulations. However, the fiery media reaction to his comments appeared to pose the question of whether it was designed to shut down the debate over finances in sport.
When asked if this was the case, Klopp replied: “Not all of you journalists see things the same way, like your chief writers, some see it differently. It’s the whole world, obviously.
“You can have different views, that’s how it is, so nothing to say,” he added, before continuing: “That is the life of people who speak in public. It is not the first time I am misunderstood.
“I know what I thought when I said it. If someone misunderstands that, or wants to misunderstand that, I cannot change that. I just answer and say what I think.
“I try to do that in the future as well because usually it is never my aim to blame anybody. I say what I know about it, how I judge it or how I see it.”