Klopp abandons principles to help Liverpool challenge City

Even before the unexpected run to the Champions League final, Liverpool was planning how to keep challenging for titles.

"We can ... outspend other clubs throughout Europe," Liverpool owner John Henry said just before the loss to Real Madrid in May's final.

Henry more than delivered, spending about 170 million pounds ($220 million) on new signings and only generating 12.5 million pounds from departing players. Liverpool even kept English soccer's player of the year, Mohamed Salah, from the grasps of Real Madrid by persuading the Egypt forward to sign a new contract.

Even if the 18-time English champions cannot win the title for the first time since 1990, the lavish outlay means the team has to be more than challenging for the Premier League. Reaching the European final masked how Liverpool barely scraped back into the Champions League with a fourth-place finish, 25 points behind champion Manchester City.

Now Liverpool's Boston Red Sox ownership group has even managed to outspend a City side with the financial backing of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. It has required manager Juergen Klopp to compromise on his own principles after pledging to "do it differently" while grumbling about Manchester United's big spending two years ago.

The 72.5 million euros (about $84 million) required to sign Alisson from Roma as a response to blunders in the Champions League final by goalkeeper Loris Karius seems to suggest otherwise. So does the $120 million forked out on central midfielders Fabinho and Naby Keita. Don't forget the $100 million in January to make Virgil van Dijk the world's most expensive defender.