Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) embraces striker Sadio Mane (L) as Mane. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) embraces striker Sadio Mane (L) as Mane. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP

WATCH: Don't blame the players for Super League, says Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp

By AFP Time of article published Apr 20, 2021

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LONDON - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he had found out about the club's involvement in plans for a breakaway Super League only on Sunday and urged angry fans not to blame the players.

The German, who has spoken out in the past against a European Super League, told Sky Sports television that his opinion had not changed since 2019 when he said he hoped it never happened.

ALSO READ: Liverpool and Leeds share spoils amid Super League protests

"I heard first hand about it yesterday," he said ahead of Monday's Premier League game at Leeds United. "We got some information, not a lot to be honest. Most of the things you can read in newspapers or wherever.

"It's a tough one. People are not happy with that, I can understand that. But I cannot say a lot more about it because we were not involved in any processes, not the players, not me. We didn't know about it."

Twelve of Europe's top football clubs announced on Sunday they were launching a breakaway Super League in the face of widespread opposition from within the game and beyond.

ALSO READ: Nobody has to walk alone, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp tells fans

Liverpool have won the Champions League, or previous European Cup, six times with Klopp celebrating success in 2019.

Klopp said his aim as a manager was always to coach a team in the Champions League and he liked the fact that a club like West Ham United, not one of the 12, could play in the tournament next year if they finished in the top four in England.

"I don't want them to, because we want to do that, but I like that they have the chance," said Klopp, whose side have struggled to reproduce the form that earned them the Premier League title last season.

ALSO READ: Arsenal and Spurs fans in rare agreement in condemning Super League

The German said Liverpool was "much more than some decisions" and the supporters and the team were the most important part of the game.

"We have to make sure that really nothing gets in between that," he added. "I heard we took banners down at Anfield but I don't understand that because the players didn't do anything wrong.

"The boys didn't do anything wrong apart from not winning all football games. I really want to make sure that everyone knows that."

Klopp said he recognised some things had to change in soccer, and governing bodies UEFA and FIFA should not just decide things.

"FIFA wants a Club World Cup, whenever that should be. That's about money, nothing else," he said. "It happens, it's not only these (breakaway) clubs."

After Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Leeds, Klopp was inevitably asked again for his thoughts on the seismic events of the past 24 of which his club are at the centre.

"I'm here as a football coach and a manager and I will do that as long as people let me do that," Klopp said. "It's not a situation I heard today that I will resign or whatever.

"I feel responsible for the team and for the club, and the relationship we have with the fans. It's a tough time but I will try to help to sort it somehow."

Reuters

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