Jamie Carragher has branded Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly as ‘incredibly arrogant’ for suggesting the Premier League should learn from American sport and implement an ‘All-Star game’.
Chelsea’s American co-owner raised a few eyebrows when he suggested the “All-Star” game, as seen in the NBA and MLB, which he believes could help raise money for the English football pyramid.
Boehly also suggested that a ‘four-team tournament’ should decide relegation from the Premier League rather than the current three-down format.
Jamie Carragher (left) has branded Chelsea’s US chairman Todd Boehly (right) as ‘incredibly arrogant’ for his All-Star game idea
The idea was discussed on CBS Sports’ Champions League coverage with Carragher, Henry and Micah Richards all on the panel — and the three former Premier League players were completely stunned by the proposals.
“I’ll be honest with you, looking at that statement, I find it incredibly arrogant to speak of a league you don’t know,” said Carragher.
“I’m not as strong as Thierry, I don’t think we should ever ignore ideas. Of course we shouldn’t do that. The Premier League is an international competition with owners, managers, players and that’s what makes it the best.
“I don’t really like those ideas, but to come and speak like that when he hasn’t even proven that he can run a Premier League club well. I mean, he fired a manager after spending £250m for three games. You immediately think “that’s not right”.
American sports like the NFL and NBA host an all-star game every year, with LA Lakers superstar LeBron James (pictured) a constant presence in the exhibition-style game
Thierry Henry was perplexed when the idea was discussed on Wednesday evening
“He didn’t get off to a great start. So to speak, if you’ve been somewhere for six weeks and you’re talking about “we’re going to bring what we do in other American sports,” I’m thinking of the American public that would feel like an English Premier League football owner would then go to the NFL. and said “we’re doing this in the Premier League”.
“It’s incredibly arrogant to speak like that, but even if he comes up with ideas to improve the competition, listen, there’s nothing wrong with ideas. I don’t think many people agree with him. Not me, not Thierry. Some people may differ. But so to speak, if you’ve only been in the country for such a short time – and he hasn’t even proven himself a good owner of Chelsea yet.”
Boehly also angered Henry after the American falsely said how Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah got through Chelsea academy before moving on.
Henry added: ‘I just want to say something, comment on the De Bruyne and Mo Salah [about the academy]yes learn your lesson and then come back and teach us something.’
Boehly made the suggestion during a speech at the New York SALT conference on Tuesday
The new Chelsea chairman’s plans came about on Tuesday, when he revealed he wanted to radically change elements of English football in a bid to boost broadcast revenue.
The new co-controlling owner of the Blues, who also owns shares of the Los Angeles teams the Dodgers in Major League Baseball and the Lakers in the NBA, told a conference in New York that he has already floated the idea with his counterparts in the Premier League.
“Ultimately, I hope the Premier League learns a lesson from American sport,” Boehly said. “And it’s really starting to get through, why don’t we do a bottom four sports team tournament, why isn’t there an All-Star game?
“There is talk of more money for the pyramid, in the MLB All-Star game this year we made $200 million on a Monday and a Tuesday.
“So we think we can play a North-to-South All-Star game for the Premier League, for whatever the pyramid needs, pretty easily.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also gave a sarcastic response to Boehly’s suggestion of a Premier League ‘North vs South’ game.
Boehly’s proposal would see rivals such as Manchester United and Liverpool in the same team
Speaking after Liverpool defeated Ajax in the Champions League thanks to a late goal from Joel Matip, Klopp gave short shrift to the idea when asked about it in his post-match press conference.
With a wide grin, Klopp said: ‘He didn’t wait long! Oh great, if he finds a date for that, he can call me.
“He forgets that in the big sports in America these players have a four-month break and they’re quite happy to be able to do a little exercise in these breaks. In football it is very different.
‘What can I say? Does he want to take the Harlem Globetrotters and have them play against a soccer team?’
After thinking a bit more about the concept, Klopp added: “I’m surprised by the question, so please don’t judge my answers too much. Maybe at some point he can explain it to me and find a good date.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wasn’t too impressed with Boehly’s suggestion that the Premier League should host a ‘North vs South All-Star Game’
Klopp joked that Boehly had to make it to the Harlem Globetrotters to play a football team
“I don’t know if people want to see that. Imagine that – United players, Liverpool players, Everton players all together in one team.
“It’s not the national team, it’s just the northwest and the northeast together and the south? Ok, north vs south means northeast and Newcastle. Interesting game.
“And all the London boys together – Arsenal, Tottenham, great. Did he really say it? Excellent.’
The idea of a ‘North vs South All-Star game’ would presumably feature the Premier League’s best players split into two sides by geography.
It would likely see rivals like Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City playing in the same team, as would Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.