Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called upon football supporters to “calm down” following the protests that have unfolded this week against the proposal of a European Super League being formed.
Last Sunday evening Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all confirmed that they had joined the breakaway league, which consisted of 12 clubs, including three from Spain and three more from Italy.
But after a remarkable backlash from clubs not involved, supporters and pundits alike, the six English clubs that decided to join the Super League opted to back down in a remarkable turn of events on Tuesday evening.
Prior to Chelsea’s goalless draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, hundreds of Blues fans protested against the club’s decision to get involved, forcing them to retract their decision. Twenty four hours earlier, some Liverpool supporters had done the same when the Reds travelled to Elland Road to face Leeds United and a small number of Spurs fans gathered at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ahead of the game against Southampton on Wednesday.
On Friday night, however, the biggest protest yet took place, as thousands upon thousands of Arsenal fans vented their anger at Gunners owner Stan Kroenke, both for his decision to put the Gunners forward to join the Super League and his overall running of the club.
Whilst the six English teams have all now backed out, supporters are still furious that they decided to join the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in the plan in the first place.
Now, Liverpool boss Klopp, who was completely against the idea, has admitted how much it “hurt” him and his players for them to be on the receiving end of abuse when they had no say on the matter. As well as that, he has also urged supporters to tone down their feelings following the protests witnessed in London this week.
“Look, it hurt a lot,” Klopp told BT Sport when addressing the backlash Liverpool had been on the receiving end of. “Yes, our owners made a mistake. We’ve said it often enough, they know it and all these kind of things.
“What I didn’t like in that moment was – and the Leeds supporters were a good example, they went on us [booing the Liverpool team bus]. We had nothing to do with that, we are just the face of the club. Our supporters had nothing to do with that.
‘We didn’t even have the idea, we had nothing to do about it and that’s what for me is really important that we don’t forget that.
“I see the pictures [in] the last few days of Arsenal and Chelsea, stuff like this… I really think you all have to calm down.”
Whilst Chelsea supporters did come out in their numbers on Tuesday evening and a cluster of Spurs fans made their voices heard prior to their 2-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday evening, the scenes at the Emirates Stadium last night spoke volumes about what Arsenal’s supporters made of the decision.
Whilst the protest was largely about Kroenke’s overall running of the club and not just the Super League proposal, the clubs who decided to join the breakaway league in the first place will now no doubt be wishing they could turn back the clock.