Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended the Fenway Sports Group, the club’s owners, as the fallout from the failed European Super League continued on Friday.
The Merseyside club were one of six Premier League teams to initially sign up for the controversial breakaway competition on Sunday, but withdrew from Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham two days later.
Liverpool owner John W Henry publicly apologized Wednesday morning to Liverpool fans, Klopp and the players and the Reds boss has insisted that the FSG group are ‘not bad people’.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp defended the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG)
Founded by John W Henry, FSG came under fire after initially signing Reds to the Super League
“I’ve known the owners for six years,” Klopp said at his pre-game press conference about their clash against Newcastle on Saturday.
“I know there were times when they might not have made the right decision, but this time for sure. But it doesn’t change anything for me, I prefer to deal with problems with people I know.
‘I hope that the bond between us and the supporters will become even stronger. Our owners aren’t bad people, they just made a bad decision, but let’s keep going. Let’s go back to the beautiful game. ‘
Asked if he has spoken to Henry directly since the collapse of the European Super League, Klopp added: ‘I don’t think it’s necessary.
‘I was mentioned in the apology and so was the team. That was personal enough for me. ‘
The Liverpool side responded to the Super League plans on Tuesday evening, with the entire team sharing messages on their social media platforms: ‘We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen. This is our collective position. Our commitment to this football club and its supporters is absolute and unconditional. ‘
Klopp revealed that he has not spoken directly to Henry since the collapse of a controversial project
It came after Liverpool boss Klopp had to deal with the music on Monday night surrounding the club’s Premier League game against Leeds.
Klopp’s opposition to the Super League was known – he had spoken out against it in 2019.
On Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football he said, ‘My opinion did not change. I heard about it for the first time yesterday (Sunday) and if you’re trying to prepare for a really tough game like Leeds United and so far we have some information, not much to be honest – you can read most of it.
‘It’s a difficult one that people are not happy about, I can understand that but I honestly can’t say much about it. We weren’t involved in any process, me and the players we didn’t know about. We will have to wait and see how it develops.
‘I am 53 years old since I first became a professional, the Champions League was there. As a manager it was my goal to coach a team there. I like the Champions League, the competitive factor of football. I like that West Ham is playing the Champions League next year. I don’t want them to do that because we want to do that. But they have such an opportunity.
Henry (center, pictured with wife Linda Pizzuti) publicly apologized to Klopp and his players
‘What can I say? Liverpool is much more than some decisions and the most important thing in football is the supporters and the teams and we have to make sure nothing gets in between them. ‘
After 48 hours of silence as widespread anger and anger erupted across Europe at the Super League proposals, Henry appeared in a video message saying: ‘I want to apologize to all Liverpool Football Club fans and supporters for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours.
It goes without saying, but it must be said that the proposed project would never last without the support of the fans. No one ever thought otherwise in England. During these 48 hours you were very clear that it was not going to last. We heard you. I heard you.
And I want to apologize to Jurgen, to Billy (Hogan, club chief executive), to the players and to everyone who works so hard at LFC to make our fans proud. They have absolutely no responsibility for this disturbance. They were the most upset and dishonest. This is what hurts the most. They love your club and do everything they can to make you proud every day.
Liverpool’s FSG owners including chief chief Henry (left) and chairman Tom Werner (center) find themselves in the heart of a storm with fans over the failed Super League
“I know the entire LFC team has the expertise, leadership and passion it takes to restore trust and move us forward. When we signed up for the challenges associated with football over a decade ago, we dreamed of what you dreamed of. And we have worked hard to improve your club. Our work is not finished yet. And I hope you understand that even when we make mistakes, we try to work for the benefit of your club. In this endeavor I have abandoned you.
Again, I’m sorry, and I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity that has been brought out in recent days. It is something that I will not forget. And shows how much power the fans have today and rightly will continue to have.
“If there is one thing that this terrible pandemic has clearly shown, it is how crucial fans are to our sport and to every sport. It is displayed in every empty stadium. It has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us; hardly anyone untouched.
‘It is important that the Liverpool football family remains intact, vital and committed to what we have seen of you around the world, with local gestures of kindness and support. I can promise I will do what I can to promote that. ‘