Soccer-Stopping Super League was fans' victory, says Liverpool's Henderson

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FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea
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(Reuters) - Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson praised the fans for making their voices heard to protest against the club's involvement in the Super League and thanked them for putting pressure on the hierarchy to withdraw their support for the competition.

Twelve top European clubs from England, Spain and Italy were involved in the proposal which collapsed on Wednesday after most of the founding members withdrew their support following intense criticism from fans, governing bodies and the government.

Liverpool's players had also voiced their opposition to the breakaway league earlier this week before the club's owner John Henry apologised for the "disruption" the decision caused.

"If there is a positive to come from this situation it is that the power of supporters has been recognised in all its glory. Stopping the proposal was your victory – you showed you cannot and must not be ignored," Henderson said.

"Trust me when I tell you that message has been received loud and clear at our club and there is an acknowledgement we have to work as hard as we ever have done to earn your trust again.

"...thank you to our supporters, for being there for us and being there for football when we needed it most. Your voice was loud, uncompromising and it was heard."

Henderson reiterated his stance that the breakaway concept was one he neither liked nor supported, saying he gave the owners an "honest view" of the proposal.

Unlike Europe’s elite Champions League competition, where teams have to qualify through their domestic league, the Super League would have guaranteed the founders a place every year.

"It would have been bad for football. There has to be risk and reward in sport, otherwise what's the point," added Henderson.

"There has to be jeopardy. You should earn your success. It was my biggest issue with the proposal and why as a player I was firmly against it.

"As players we weren't consulted beforehand and that was a mistake. As was the failure to engage with supporters. I understand and share the disappointment of our own fans and the wider football community for this failing."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)