Premier League champions Liverpool appear to be ignoring both criticism aimed at the club and any mention of their role in the highly controversial European Super League.
The Reds and the rest of the so-called Big Six of the Premier League have faced a furious backlash after the unveiling of proposals for a breakaway tournament on Sunday.
There were protests outside grounds around the country on Monday at the scheme put forward by Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham together with six leading Spanish and Italian clubs – dubbed the Dirty Dozen.
Jurgen Klopp is said to be ‘furious’ with Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group over their role in a controversial breakaway European Super League. Pictured are (left-right) chairman Tom Werner, Klopp, owner John W. Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti at Anfield in 2017
On Monday night, Klopp stood by his critical comments from 2019 regarding a Super League
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hit out at the plans of his club’s owners both before and after Monday night’s 1-1 draw with Leeds, yet there is no mention of his comments on the subject on the club’s official website.
The German, who was critical of plans to break away in 2019 and has maintained that opinion, responded to questions on the subject in interviews but his usual press conference transcript on the club’s website is notably missing his answers given to questions on the European Super League.
Speaking before kick-off at Elland Road, Klopp said: ‘My opinions didn’t change. I heard first time about it yesterday (Sunday) and when you try and prepare for a very difficult game like Leeds United and then so far we got some information, not a lot to be honest – most of the things you can read.
‘It’s a tough one, people are not happy with that, I can understand that but I can’t say a lot about it to be honest.
‘We were not involved in any processes, me nor the players we didn’t know about it. We’ll have to wait and see how it develops.
Klopp said before the game he was against the Super League wanted by Liverpool’s owners
‘I’m 53 years old since I was first a professional, the Champions League was there. As a manager it was my aim to coach a team there.
‘I like the Champions League, the competitive factor of football. I like the fact that West Ham might play Champions League next year. I don’t want them to because we want to do that. But they have a chance like that.
‘What can I say: Liverpool is much more than some decisions and the most important things in football is the supporters and the teams and we have to make sure nothing comes between them.’
In his post-match press conference, Klopp added: ‘I have six years at the club. I know our owners, they are reasonable people, serious people.
‘They care about us, but they never have to explain this type of decision like or ask permission or whatever.
He is also said to be ‘furious’ that his side’s preparations for Leeds were affected by the plans
‘I speak a lot to them, but was not involved in the process, not at all. I got information yesterday (Sunday). Nobody knows what will happen. I don’t know anything about that.
‘The team has nothing to do with it and I have, not really, anything to do with it, but people treat us like that. The Leeds supporters came here today, before the game they were shouting at us in the city this afternoon.
‘We have nothing to do with this. We are employees of the club and I feel responsible for a lot of things at this club.
‘When I am involved in things and I take the criticism easily, but my boys – I don’t think they have to take it as well.
‘We are not involved in this. So it’s a tough one at the moment. I will try to help and sort it somehow.’
Liverpool owner John Henry is one of the brains behind the controversial Super League plans
According to The Athletic, Klopp is ‘furious’ at the situation owners Fenway Sports Group have put him in and the lack of communication between the boardroom and manager’s office before the proposals were made public.
The timing of the announcement has also angered the German, with Monday night’s game at Leeds a crucial fixture in Liverpool’s bid to finish in a Champions League spot.
Klopp revealed he had held a meeting with his team on Monday morning but, with little extra information available to them at the time, urged his players to ignore the noise and focus on the task at hand.
The German is desperately wanting urgent talks with FSG in the coming days but said on Monday night that his future at Anfield is secure.
Leeds and Liverpool fans protested against the proposals before their game on Monday
He said: ‘I don’t run away when there are problems, I never did that.
‘When times get even tougher that makes me more determined to stay here. I feel responsible for the team, for the club and for the relationship we have with our fans.’
It comes after Liverpool news website This is Anfield reported that a staff meeting due to be held on Tuesday to discuss the proposals was cancelled not long after full-time of the Leeds game on Monday night.
An email sent by chief executive Billy Hogan on Monday read: ‘We know that this announcement has provoked strong feelings within the game and elsewhere but we believe this decision is in the best long-term interests of Liverpool Football Club.
‘Importantly, this is the beginning of the journey and we can now start an engagement process with you, supporters and key stakeholders to help shape this process in the right way.
‘There is still much more information to come in due course.
‘I will keep you updated as we progress on this journey and discuss further on our Town Hall tomorrow.’