Jurgen Klopp has questioned the morality of the takeover of Newcastle by the Saudi royal family, describing their financial advantage as being “like the Super League.”
Last week, a consortium led by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, completed the takeover of Newcastle for a fee of £300 million.
This has led to huge excitement in the northeast, due to the club’s new-found wealth and the end of the Mike Ashley era, but there is a great deal of controversy over human rights issues in Saudi Arabia.
While it is stressed that the Saudi royal family are not taking charge of Newcastle – rather the country’s Public Investment Fund – it is impossible to separate the two.
Speaking to Sky Germany, Klopp expressed this feeling, questioning how the takeover was permitted despite obvious red flags in the new ownership.
“I don’t want to make it my business because it’s not my business,” he said.
“There are no two opinions about the obvious human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia.
“That’s not a question. But how it could then happen that this was nevertheless allowed despite many concerns, I cannot assess. That must be some other people.”
He added: “Since no one has said anything so great, I’m not ready to really give my opinion now, whether I think that’s good or bad.”
Newcastle head into the weekend with Steve Bruce still in place as manager, with the 60-year-old taking charge of his 1000th game with his side currently 19th, having taken three points from seven games.
In the long term, the Magpies are expected to replace Bruce and invest heavily into the first-team squad, with the financial power of their new owners potentially drawing big names to St James’ Park.
Klopp believes, then, that they are “guaranteed to play a dominant role in world football for the next 20 or 30 years,” though he equates their advantage to that which the Super League clubs would have taken.
“If we only talk about football, then in the long term, of course, we have to say that they are going to be a superpower,” he continued.
“This is the third club in world football that I know of that belongs to a country and that obviously belongs to the wealthiest family on the planet.
“The possibilities that open up are of course immense.
“With the Super League, the whole world was justifiably upset about it. It’s basically like the Super League now – just for one club.
“Then Newcastle are guaranteed to play a dominant role in world football for the next 20 or 30 years.
“You can mess up a lot with money, but in the long run there are too many good people running around in football and Newcastle will find them too.”