Liverpool captain Henderson says Leeds pre-match shirts opposing Super League were ‘disrespectful’

The midfielder insists the Whites were wrong to target Reds players after the unveiling of the controversial breakaway plans

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson thinks Leeds’ pre-match shirts opposing the Super League last month were “disrespectful”.

Leeds held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road on April 19 after a late Diego Llorente goal cancelled out a first-half effort from Sadio Mane.

The on-field events were overshadowed by those off it, as supporters gathered in large numbers outside the stadium to condemn the controversial plans for a new Super League competition to rival the Champions League.

What’s been said?

The Leeds squad also joined in the protests by donning warm-up shirts with the messages “football is for the fans” and “earn it” emblazoned across the front and back, leaving Henderson incensed.

“The T-shirts, I felt, were disrespectful,” Henderson told the New York Times. “The players hadn’t done anything. It wasn’t something we wanted.”

Henderson defends Liverpool’s owners

Henderson publicly declared the Liverpool squad’s opposition to the Super League as the majority of the original 12 founding clubs began to withdraw, insisting “our commitment to supporters is absolute and unconditional”.

Reds’ owner John Henry subsequently issued an apology for the club’s involvement in the breakaway, and Henderson remains fully behind the American and the FSG Group after seeing them invest heavily in the team over the past decade.

“If you look at it, they’ve done a good job,” he said. “They’ve grown the club. They’ve put money in. They’ve built a new training ground. They brought the manager in.”

What is the current state of the Super League?

Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Inter and AC Milan all pulled out of the Super League amid the fierce public backlash, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus officially remain on board.

Those three clubs have promised to continue to press for change amid the uncertainty of the current financial climate, but UEFA have warned that they could face serious sanctions if the plans are not scrapped completely, including having players banned from international tournaments.

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