Jamie Carragher has branded Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly ‘incredibly arrogant’ for suggesting that the Premier League needs to learn from American sports 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 proposed 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 American 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 baffled by the proposals.
‘I’ll be honest with you, when I look at that statement I think is incredibly arrogant to speak about a league that you don’t know,’ Carragher said.
‘I’m not as strong as Thierry, I don’t think we should ever discount ideas. Of course, we shouldn’t. The Premier League is an international league with owners, managers, players and that’s what makes it the best.
‘I don’t particularly like those ideas but to come and speak like that when he’s not even proved that he can run a Premier League club well yet. I mean he’s sacked a manager after three games having spent £250million. Straight away you’re thinking “that’s not right”.
American sports such as the NFL and NBA host an annual all-star game, with LA Lakers superstar LeBron James (pictured) a constant presence in the exhibition-style contest
Thierry Henry was left perplexed when the idea was discussed on Wednesday night
‘He’s not made a great start. To speak like that when you’ve been somewhere for six weeks and talk about “we’re going to bring what we doing in other American sports”, I just think of the American public would feel if an English Premier League football owner then went to the NFL and were saying “we do this in the Premier League”.
‘It is incredibly arrogant to speak like that, but even if he’s coming up with ideas to improve league, listen, there’s nothing wrong with ideas. I don’t think many people agree with him. I don’t, Thierry doesn’t. Some people may differ with that. But to speak like that when you’ve been in the country for such a short time – and he hasn’t even proven that he’s a good owner of Chelsea yet.’
Boehly also drew the ire of Henry after the American incorrectly said how Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah came through Chelsea’s academy before moving on.
Henry added: ‘I just want to say something, to comment about the De Bruyne and Mo Salah [about the academy], yeah just learn your lesson and then come back and teach us something.’
Boehly made the suggestion while speaking at the SALT conference in New York on Tuesday
The plans from the new Chelsea chairman came about on Tuesday where he revealed he wanted to revolutionise elements of English football in a bid to boost broadcasting revenue.
The Blues’ new co-controlling owner, who also owns shares of Los Angeles teams the Dodgers in Major League Baseball and the Lakers in the NBA, told a New York conference he has already floated the idea with Premier League counterparts.
‘Ultimately I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports,’ said Boehly. ‘And really starts to figure out, why don’t we do a tournament with the bottom four sports teams, why isn’t there an All-Star game?
‘People are talking about more money for the pyramid, in the MLB All-Star game this year we made 200 million dollars from a Monday and a Tuesday.
‘So we’re thinking we could do a North versus South All-Star game for the Premier League, for whatever the pyramid needed quite easily.’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also issued a sarcastic response to Boehly’s suggestion of a Premier League ‘North vs South’ match.
Boehly’s proposal would see rivals such as Manchester United and Liverpool on the same team
Speaking after Liverpool beat Ajax in the Champions League thanks to a late Joel Matip goal, Klopp gave the idea short shrift when asked about it in his post-match press conference.
Breaking into a wide grin, Klopp said: ‘He hasn’t waited long! Oh great, when he finds a date for that, he can call me.
‘He forgets that in the big sports in America, these players have four-month breaks and they are quite happy they can do a little bit of sport in these breaks. It is completely different in football.
‘What can I say? Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well and let them play against a football team?’
Giving the concept a little more thought, Klopp added: ‘I am surprised by the question so please don’t judge my answers too much. Maybe he can explain it to me at one point and find a proper date.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wasn’t too impressed by Boehly’s suggestion that the Premier League should stage a ‘North vs South All-Star Game’
Klopp joked that Boehly should bring the Harlem Globetrotters over to play a football team
‘I’m not sure people want to see that. Imagine that – United players, Liverpool players, Everton players all together on one team.
‘It’s not the national team, it’s just the north-west and the north-east together and the south? Ok, north versus south means north-east and Newcastle. Interesting game.
‘And all the London guys together – Arsenal, Tottenham, great. Did he really say it? Great.’
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 such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City play on the same team, likewise Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.