Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool’s owners ‘are not bad people’ despite ESL involvement

Carl Markham, PA
·4-min read

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists club owners Fenway Sports Group “are not bad people” but “made a bad decision” over their involvement in the failed European Super League project.

Klopp has not even spoken to principal owner John W Henry, let alone received an apology for the way the launch of the breakaway competition and its subsequent rapid collapse was handled behind the backs of managers and players of the ‘big six’ clubs.

However, the German – who spoke out against the plans prior to Monday’s match at Leeds and before the scheme unravelled – is keen to move on.

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The Reds boss said: “We hadn’t (had an apology). I don’t think it is necessary as I was mentioned in the apology and the team as well. That was personal enough for me.

“If they’d have spoken to me before, I would have told them ‘No’, it’s not a good idea. Would that have changed something? I don’t know.

“They made a decision for some reason, but it’s not now about me getting an explanation. I’m not like this.

“I’m happy it didn’t happen, but I have so many things to talk about with them, this will not be a part.

“We have to plan our future, and not talk about what happened last week. It’s great that it didn’t happen, absolutely great. It would have been really bad. But it didn’t happen, and now I have a job to do.

“I can tell you I know our owners, they are not perfect like I am not and you are not, but they are not bad people. They made a bad decision, that’s true, but let’s carry on.”

Fans directed their anger towards the owners, hanging anti-FSG banners outside the Kop earlier this week, and Henry’s video message admitting his error has done little to placate them.

In 2010 Liverpool supporters mobilised with a campaign of action in opposition to previous American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett and there has been a groundswell of opinion aimed at some sort of activism this time around.

However, Klopp said he did not see the value in trying to force out FSG, although he accepts there are a lot of bridges to be rebuilt.

“I cannot tell millions and millions of people how to deal with a situation,” he added.

“I know the owners for six years, I know there are some moments when they might not have made the right decisions – this time for sure.

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“That doesn’t change, for me, too much because I prefer dealing with the problems or the people I know than just changing because then you might have the same problems again.

“I think it is completely normal after this that everyone thinks ‘How can we carry on?’ but that needs longer time. It cannot be solved in a week.”

There has been talk of protests at Anfield before Saturday’s match against Newcastle but Klopp hopes that does not happen.

On their arrival at Elland Road on Monday they were greeted by an angry mob who directed “greedy” taunts at the team coach but the Reds boss is keen to avoid any more animosity.

“The only thing I can say is that I really hope the bond between us and our supporters might even get stronger, and we don’t only discuss the things that happened in the past,” he said.

“All my life I tried to carry on if I couldn’t change something. Show the world we can deal with pretty much everything.

Fans hold up an anti-FSG banner
Fans protest outside Elland Road against Liverpool’s Super League involvement (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“They all learned their lesson. They will not come around the corner next week and try to do something. I’m pretty sure of that.

“But now we have to make sure we don’t get any harm off it, a different atmosphere in the club or something. That would be the really bad thing about it.

“The rest, didn’t happen. They tried something, it wasn’t allowed, so let’s go back to the beautiful game it always was.”