Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes football authorities and fans have wrongly turned a blind eye to ownership issues in the Premier League so Chelsea’s current predicament should not come as a surprise.
The Stamford Bridge club are operating under a special licence after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government over his ties to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
Stringent restrictions have been placed on the day-to-day operations at Chelsea, who are attracting interest from a number of parties after being put up for sale – currently paused – by Abramovich before sanctions were imposed.
“I don’t think it is really fair to ask me. You are much longer in this country,” Klopp said.
“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 a 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.”
Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group are, despite having made some mistakes on season ticket price hikes, furloughing staff at the start of the pandemic and the failed European Super League, generally seen as good owners.
But the club is not too far displaced from its own experience of dysfunctional ownership after the disastrous reign of American duo Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who bought Liverpool in 2007 but were forced to sell three years later after struggling to refinance mounting debts.
“I have no idea about 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,” added Klopp.
“And in these times, I am even more happy with our owners.
“We don’t even think about where the money is coming from…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.”