Jurgen Klopp has accused football, and football fans, of turning a blind eye to the origin of Roman Abramovich’s wealth.
And the Liverpool head coach believes the game, and those involved within it, must do more to ensure serious questions are asked of owners, and specifically where their money has come from, in the future.
Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government on Thursday, with the Chelsea owner cited as having a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The developments have sent shockwaves through the Premier League, and left the current European champions facing an uncertain future, to say the least.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Brighton, Klopp expressed sympathy for Chelsea’s players and staff, stressing that m Putin is responsible for the situation the club finds itself in.
And later, he spoke further on the ongoing issue, and specifically of football’s duty to better police those who own clubs.
He told reporters: “I don’t think it is really fair to ask me. You are much longer in this country. Did you care, really? Did anyone really care when Roman Abramovich came to Chelsea?
“Did anyone really care when Newcastle got taken over? Do supporters really care? It is a question.
“It is pretty obvious where the money is coming from. Everyone knew it, but we accepted it. That’s our fault. It is society’s fault, so we accepted it. “Now we cannot accept it anymore and so we punish them, it is not Chelsea’s fault. Not at all.”
Klopp added: “I have no idea what background checks would look like, but I can tell you I am six and a half years here and from the first day I came here I was really happy with our owners, and in these times I am even more happy with our owners.
“In the end, owners are there to lead the club, to give financial resources when they want to make a benefit.
“We don’t even think about where the money is coming from, [but] now we start obviously thinking about where the money is coming from. I think that is a good idea to be honest. We should think about that a bit more.”