Jurgen Klopp has dismissed the European Super League plan that Liverpool have signed up for, with the head coach speaking out against the plans of his owners.
Klopp, 53, spoke to our partners in the UK at Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Leeds United on Monday as fans gathered outside to protest, airplanes flew overhead with banners stating ‘no to Super League’ and anger continued to grow against the plan.
"I feel responsible for the team, I feel responsible for the club & the relationship with the fans. It’s a very tough time, I’m sure. I will try to help to sort it somehow."pic.twitter.com/mhSLO0nLTx
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) April 19, 2021
There were shirts placed in Liverpool’s locker room for the warm ups reading ‘earn it’ and a Champions League logo, as Leeds United wore the shirts for the warm up at Elland Road. That angered Klopp, but he is clearly not a fan of the Super League plan.
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Late Sunday a statement was released, confirming that 12 clubs (including six from the Premier League) had agreed to join a new breakaway European Super League. In 2019 Klopp said he didn’t want a European Super League and he was asked if his feelings on it have changed.
His full response to the questions are below, with the video above.
Lack of competitive edge the problem
“My feelings didn’t change. My opinion didn’t change. I heard about it yesterday for the first time. When you hear about it and are trying to prepare for a difficult game like Leeds United, so far, we got some information, not a lot, to be honest. Most of the things you can more or less read in the newspaper or whatever. It is a tough one. People are not happy with it. I can understand that. But I can’t say a lot more about it because we were not involved in any processes, not the players, not me. We didn’t know about it now that is the case or the fact, we will have to wait on how it develops,” Klopp said.
“I am 53 years old, and since I was a professional player the Champions League is there. It was my aim as a player, it wasn’t possible, but as a manager it was to coach a team there. I have obviously no issues with the Champions League. I like the competitive factor of football. I like the fact that West Ham might play Champions League next year. No problem. I don’t want them to, because we want to do that, but I like they have the chance.”
"Champions League. Earn it. Football is for the fans."
Leeds United went out on the pitch wearing these shirts in protest of the European Super League. pic.twitter.com/5qm0gCgLDK
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 19, 2021
“What can I say, it is really not easy. What I want to say as well, I heard a few things and what I really don’t like is Liverpool Football Club is much more than some decisions. Football, the most important part of football is the supporters and the teams. We have to make sure nothing gets in-between that. I heard we put banners down at Anfield and I don’t understand that because the players didn’t do anything wrong, well, we did in the games, but we go with everything and we want to qualify for the Champions League.”
Defending Liverpool’s players, fans
“We have to stick together. When other people from other clubs use our anthem against us, I don’t like that as well. We can show that nobody has to walk alone in this moment. There are things we have to sort, obviously, but is has nothing to do with the football, nothing to do with the relationship between the supporters and teams. In tough times you have to show that you really stick together. That doesn’t mean you have to agree to everything but the boys didn’t do anything wrong, apart from not winning all of the football games. I really want to make sure everybody knows that.”
“I don’t have all the information. I don’t know exactly why the 12 clubs did it. I know some things will change in the future in football, some things have to change in football, that is for sure. Where the power is, that is not right. UEFA cannot just decide things as well, FIFA cannot just decide things as well. Everybody plans new competitions.”
“If you tell the clubs it’s about money, what do you think UEFA is about? FIFA wants a club World Cup, that’s about money. It is about money, nothing else. Things will change and some things have to change. Usually you have to prepare these kind of things. It needs time and convincing. One thing I can’t understand is the competitiveness. I get this. I don’t like that we maybe aren’t in the Champions League but if we earn it we want to be there like anybody else.”