Everton manager Frank Lampard has described Financial Fair Play regulations as ‘strange’ after Jurgen Klopp’s comments suggesting Liverpool could not compete financially with Newcastle United and Manchester City.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager made the comments ahead of his side’s 1-0 win over Pep Guardiola’s men as he assessed the wealth possessed by City and the Magpies. Klopp also seemed to take exception with comments made by United sporting director Dan Ashworth after he suggested their is no limit to the ambition being shown at St James Park following last year’s takeover by a PIF-led consortium.
The Magpies owners have strengthened on and off the pitch since they completed their prolonged takeover, with over £200m spent on the likes of Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes during the last two transfer windows and several impressive off-field appointments made to strengthen the club’s infrastructure.
Toffees manager Lampard knows all about the experience of working at a club with new-found wealth after becoming a Chelsea legend during Roman Abramovich’s reign at Stamford Bridge and spending a short spell at Manchester City.
Addressing Klopp’s comments ahead of Everton’s visit to St James Park, Lampard said: “I think in modern football, everyone has a different position, a different perspective and sometimes it changes. Sometimes it’s the reason we embrace and love the Premier League.
“I lived the Chelsea story as a player, I viewed it and touched on it as a Manchester City player for a year. There are a lot of stories purely from a football level which you can embrace and love.
“I saw City got voted the club of the year last night for the many good things I know they do on and off the pitch. So everybody is different.
“Financial Fair Play is a bit strange for me, I never understand it because if it was financially fair, there are a lot of teams who have lot more income than we do who can spend a lot more on players and wages. That’s the story of the modern game, it’s all relative.”
Lampard admitted that he ‘understood’ Klopp’s comments but suggested Liverpool had managed to compete with City over the last few years by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and appearing in three Champions League Finals. The former England midfielder stated that clubs with strong financial backing have become the norm in the top tier and that is ‘the way it is.’.
He said: “Liverpool have competed with them (Manchester City) with great coaching, great players, and great recruitment. They brought in Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, all of these players. While being strong, they can keep strengthening and changing. Maybe you view it at this moment in time with Liverpool and the form they have had, they’re clearly going to be back up amongst it.
“I understand what he’s saying to a degree, I can probably say the same when we talk about Newcastle. We’re not there because they can spend £200 million in two windows and we can’t. Our net spend is much less.
“If that’s his point, I completely get it. But I think the debate afterwards which has carried on is questioning whether it should be allowed, and are these clubs competing at a different level. Maybe they are, but maybe that’s just the Premier League and the way that it is.
“I don’t think it’s the worst thing, I particularly look at the story I was involved in as a player and Manchester City which I touched on, and particularly when I think about City and how they handle themselves on and off the pitch, I think they are a fantastic example. That’s my opinion.”