Newcastle United a new 'superpower' after takeover, says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Newcastle are a new superpower - Klopp

Newcastle United are a new "superpower" in football following the club's £305m takeover, says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Premier League approved the Saudi-led takeover last week after receiving "legally binding assurances" the Saudi Arabian state would not be in control.

There are many human rights issues linked to the state.

"Newcastle are guaranteed to play a dominant role in world football for the next 20 or 30 years," Klopp said.

Speaking to Sky, he added: "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.

"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."

Amnesty International UK chief executive Sacha Deshmukh previously said the takeover raised a number of "deeply troubling questions about sportswashing, about human rights and sport, and about the integrity of English football".

The takeover was 80% financed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), whose chair is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Western intelligence agencies say he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, an allegation Bin Salman denies.

Following the takeover, Amanda Staveley, Newcastle's director, said her PCP Capital firm took concerns over Saudi Arabia's human rights record "very seriously" but reiterated that its partner "is not the Saudi state, it's PIF".

Other top-flight clubs have complained to the Premier League about how the deal passed the owners' and directors' test, as well as how they were kept in the dark until news of the takeover emerged.

"I was waiting for some official statement about it from Richard Masters or somebody else, because we all know there are obviously concerns about human rights issues," said Klopp. "I think that's all clear that we all think the same there.

"What will it mean for football? A few months ago, we had a massive issue with clubs trying to build a Super League, and rightly so. It didn't happen.

"But this is creating a super team. It's pretty much the same. Guaranteed spots in the Champions League, in a few years' time, not immediately.

"Newcastle fans will love it, of course, but for the rest of us it just means there is a new superpower in Newcastle.

"Money cannot buy everything but it can over time. They have enough money to make a few wrong decisions, to then make the right decisions, and then they will be where they want to be."

'We have a new competitor' - what other managers said

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel: "I think it is normal that people have concerns but we trust in the Premier League. They have accepted it and they are the authorities in this case.

"It seems we have a new competitor for titles and places. This is what we are up for."

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "I didn't think it was going to go through but now it has and it is going to change the picture.

"I don't know the plans of the new owners, I can't say if they're going to spend loads of money, it's a fantastic football club with traditions.

"Long term, it's going to be interesting to watch and it has been the talk of football the last few weeks and that's what they want in the end. I don't want to join in that political discussion."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: "Looks like the Newcastle fans I saw were happy. It's business, people took over a club and the people of Newcastle are happy. I'm far away from why the decision was made."

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira: "It's good news for Newcastle football club, I think it's good news for Newcastle's fans, it's good for the city of Newcastle. We have to be happy for them. It's how it's been the last couple of years. We just have to deal with it."

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