Jurgen Klopp Admits He Could Retire Within 3 Years After Winning Manager of the Year Award

?Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has claimed that he could consider retiring from football management within the next three years.

The 52-year-old picked up Sport Bild’s Manager of the Year award and made a speech during the ceremony in Hamburg via a video call, where he spoke about his recent success in the Champions League six years on from his defeat in the final against Bayern Munich.

Klopp also touched on what the future might hold for him, with the Liverpool boss surprisingly claiming that he might consider his retirement in the next few years.

Jurgen Klopp

“I hope to continue like this, but in two, three years I don’t know what may happen,” Klopp revealed at Sport Bild’s award ceremony. “Maybe I’ll retire! It doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen, however, but if that were the case, you wouldn’t be surprised.”

Klopp’s current contract at Liverpool runs until 2022, which would put him in charge at Anfield for a total of six years – the same amount of time he spent at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

He also offered a brief insight into the summer transfer saga surrounding his former player Philippe Coutinho, who after bucket loads of speculation finally joined Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on a season-long loan.

He’s a super player and a super boy,” he added. “We were reluctant to hand him over at the time, but Barcelona forced us with money, so to speak.

It sounds weird, but we could not afford [to re-sign Coutinho]. He is a player who can change games for the positive. It’s not that nice for Dortmund, but it’s a great transfer for Bayern and the Bundesliga.”


2020 CONIFA World Football Cup at Risk After Tournament Left Without Host

The ‘World Cup for Forgotten Nations’, CONIFA’s World Football Cup 2020, is at risk of being cancelled due to the lack of a host. 

CONIFA (the Confederation of Independent Football Associations, who oversee football for non-FIFA ‘national’ teams, including collections of self-declared republics and ethnic groups) held their last World Football Cup in London last summer and had selected autonomous region Somaliland to host the 2020 edition. 

The volunteer organisation announced on the weekend that the self-declared independent state will no longer be the venue for next summer’s tournament – leaving the competition in flux, with barely nine months until tournament kickoff time. 

Somaliland’s bid was the only one to make it in front of CONIFA’s executive committee for voting this January, with a Donetsk bid unable to answer security questions asked of it. 

The teams who have already qualified for the 2020 World Football Cup are: Mapuche, Somaliland (as hosts, place may not stand), Karpatalja, Western Sahara, South Ossetia, Darfur, Matabeleland and Kabylia. 

Other potential bids from Cascadia (a bioregion in the Pacific Northwest) and Tokyo were put off until 2022 to secure funding; while Blacktown, Sydney in Australia was mooted as a potential host at an early stage of the process.?

CONIFA exec committee members travelled to Somaliland early in 2019 to inspect the early preparations and were satisfied at the time – and noises about the competition were positive at the summer’s European Football Cup in Artsakh; won by South Ossetia. 

There was some resistance to the idea of Somaliland hosting the tournament earlier this year, with Jersey manager James Scott insisting that his side would not contravene British Foreign Office advice and travel to the region. 

A source familiar with the situation has admitted that the organisation now face a battle to find a replacement host in time for the tournament to go ahead, with the nature of CONIFA meaning that many of its members are stateless or in conflict zones – making hosting any event a logistical nightmare. 

A return to London is unlikely, with the costs associated with hosting a week-long, 16-team competition in the British capital likely to prove prohibitive without a sponsor willing to put a large amount of money behind organisation; as Paddy Power did last summer. 

Reigning champions Karpatalja may struggle to defend their crown in the event a replacement host is found, with Ukraine – where many of the team have family, or hail from themselves – imposing sanctions on them after their success in London last year. 


Cristiano Ronaldo’s Legal Team Finally Admit to $375k Payment to Silence Rape Accuser

?Cristiano Ronaldo’s lawyers admitted for the first time that there was a settlement in place to ‘maintain confidentiality’ following allegations that he raped a woman in Las Vegas in 2009.

Kathryn Mayorga alleges that she was sexually assaulted by the Portugal international, with a $375,000 settlement being reached to prevent the allegations being made public.

Following Mayorga’s attempt to invalidate the agreement last year, Ronaldo’s legal team have for the first time acknowledged that the Juventus forward did pay a settlement fee “to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute”.

Cristiano Ronaldo

That came during a motion which was filed on Friday in an attempt to throw out Mayorga’s lawsuit.

Most of the motion was redacted, but CNN have published a small excerpt in relation to why Ronaldo signed the settlement agreement nine years ago, insisting that the fact an agreement happens to be in place doesn’t imply guilt.

It reads: “The [agreement] made clear Mr. Ronaldo disputed [Mayorga’s] allegations and in no way conceded she was injured. To the contrary, the [agreement] stated in no uncertain terms that Mr. Ronaldo was agreeing to pay [Mayorga] a sum of money in order to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute.”

It was confirmed by her lawyer last month that the initial claim in civil court had been dropped, with the case instead moving to the federal level.

It still looks to invalidate the settlement agreement from 2010 on the grounds that Ronaldo and his legal team took advantage of Mayorga’s fragile and emotional state, coercing her into signing the agreement over claims she would face a public backlash.

This new motion from Ronaldo’s legal team claims that the previous settlement agreement, as well as Nevada’s statute of limitations, make Mayorga’s lawsuit null and void.

It was also claimed that Mayorga has failed to present any evidence that she ‘lacked the mental capacity’ to agree to the settlement.

To date, no criminal charges have been filed regarding the alleged incident.


Huddersfield Town Caretaker Manager Mark Hudson Keen to Secure Job Permanently

?Huddersfield Town caretaker manager Mark Hudson has told officials at the club that he wants the head coach job permanently following the recent sacking of former boss Jan Siewert.

However, the club are considering a number of candidates to take charge of the club long-term after Siewert managed just a single win in 19 matches after taking over from David Wagner.

?Sky Sports report that the Terriers have a number of potential replacements lined up, including former Derby, Birmingham and Stoke City manager Gary Rowett, as well as current Queens Park Rangers assistant manager John Eustace.

Jan Siewert

Other potential alternatives include ex-?Nottingham Forest and ?Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka, who has been without a job since leaving the Midlands club earlier this year and is reportedly keen on joining the Terriers.

But the final decision will ultimately be made by new chairman Phil Hodgkinson, with help from the head of football operations David Webb and CEO Julian Winter.

Their plan to recruit promising young coaches from elsewhere in Europe has brought some success to the club in the past, with David Wagner arriving from ?Borussia Dortmund’s second team and securing promotion to the Premier League in 2017.

While the same policy when opting for Siewert failed to produce similar positive results, the board may opt to stick this scheme when they make their latest appointment. 

Although he’s older than the club’s previous managers, Dan Petrescu has impressed during his time with CFR Cluj, who eliminated Celtic from the Champions League at the qualifying stage last week.

Mark Hudson

An ambitious British manager will almost inevitably be under consideration too, allowing Hudson the opportunity to impress and earn the chance for a permanent contract.

It’s widely believed that any appointment will be delayed for a fortnight until the first international break of the new season, giving Hudson three games to improve on what has been a poor start, seeing the ?Terriers earn just a single point from three games and suffer elimination from the Carabao Cup.


Arsenal Director Josh Kroenke Explains Aggressive Summer Transfer Tactics

?Arsenal director Josh Kroenke, son of owner Stan, has explained how the Gunners’ humiliation in the Europa League final last season caused the club to use ‘aggressive’ methods in this summer’s transfer market.

After losing 4-1 to Chelsea in Azerbaijan, Arsenal were condemned to their third consecutive year without Champions League football at the Emirates, losing financial benefits and their appeal to the world’s top players.

Four second half goals from Chelsea shook Arsenal’s foundations, forcing them to rethink their strategy for the upcoming transfer window and beyond.


Speaking to ?BBC Sport, Kroenke said: “As the second half of the match unfolded, understanding the position we were in and some of the targets as we headed into the summer from a transfer standpoint, we had to rethink some of our strategy based on that last 45 minutes.

“We knew we wouldn’t have Champions League football and that’s what those type of talents are after. My main message to Vinai [Venkatesham, managing director] and Raul [Sanllehi, head of football] coming back from Baku on the plane and then throughout meetings all day the following day with them and Unai [Emery, head coach], was: ‘Let’s be aggressive and find out what’s possible’.”

The Gunners were one of the Premier League’s biggest spenders this summer, bringing in Nicolas Pepe for a new club record fee of £72m, along with Dani Ceballos (on loan from Real Madrid), Kieran Tierney and David Luiz.

Nicolas Pepe

On the success of Arsenal’s recruitment, the American said: “I think we had a very strong summer. We addressed certain areas on the pitch for this season and in the years ahead. We had certain age profiles that we were after. Without Champions League football we weren’t exactly sure, but I encouraged our football operations department to be aggressive and when Arsenal Football Club knocks on a player’s door it’s a different knock.

“This summer, even though we weren’t in a position of strength coming out of Baku, I think there were a few people caught off guard that Arsenal Football Club still has the aura that it does. We’re excited to keep pushing that now and into the future.”

A degree of confusion remains concerning how Arsenal were able to spend so much when they only had a reported budget of £45m to spend. Sales of Alex Iwobi and Laurent Koscielny did little to recuperate the club’s spending which was well in excess of £100m.

Responding the questions over whether there had been a cash injection from the owners, Kroenke stated: “I’m not going to go into too much detail – people can read between the lines of being aggressive and what that might mean. It’s going to be a private matter for us here at the club, but I hope our fans understand that by being aggressive that’s exactly what we were.


“Going into the summer we knew we were going to have instruments in place that were going to allow us to be aggressive and they weren’t going to be dependent on sales. The guys went out, worked their magic and I’m happy to have them on our side.”

The 39-year-old dismissed claims that their transfer business was provoked by pressure from fans: “I would say that if you’re reacting and doing club record signings based on public opinion, you’re not going to go very far as a club. We weren’t reactive this summer, we were actually proactive.”

The Arsenal director also hinted that the club’s recruitment this season may not be over, adding: “As for January, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got to evaluate some things in the short term and figure out where we might need to address going forward, so when January does roll around we’re going to be proactive again.”