Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool supporters’ union, has called upon owners Fenway Sports Group to consider their positions at the club with immediate effect.
Reds fans have been left disgusted by their club’s decision to throw their weight behind a proposed new 20-team European Super League which would, if it were to happen, threaten the entire balance of the domestic, European and international game.
On a quite remarkable day, Manchester City have confirmed that they had begun proceedings to withdraw from the league, while it is understood that Chelsea, too, are set to walk away. Manchester United, meanwhile, have seen their executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, resign his position.
What has been said?
Liverpool have remained silent, their only official communication coming courtesy of a short statement posted on the club website on Sunday evening, which contained no comments from anyone connected with FSG.
“We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen,” they posted, while Kop legends such as Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler and Sir Kenny Dalglish have all urged the club to walk away from the Super League.
In a statement released late on Tuesday, Spirit of Shankly wrote: “We note with anger that club owners FSG are still hanging on to this shattered nightmare of a European ‘Super’ League.
“We are calling on the FSG board to withdraw our club from this catastrophic idea and consider their positions with immediate effect. To coin a previous campaign of ours: not welcome here.”
The last line is a reference to Spirit of Shankly’s protests against former Liverpool owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who were in charge of the club between 2007 and 2010 before FSG won a dramatic High Court battle to take ownership.
What has Jurgen Klopp said?
Klopp was left bewildered by events following the news that Liverpool planned to be one of the 12 founder members of the Super League, which emerged on Sunday.
He, along with vice-captain James Milner, was the only senior club figure to speak on Monday, confirming before and after the 1-1 draw with Leeds at Elland Road that he did not back the idea and insisting he would not resign his position as manager despite his reservations.
“I’m here as a football coach and manager, and I will do that as long as people let me do that,” he told reporters. “I heard today that I will resign or whatever. If times get even tougher, that makes me even more sticky that I will stay here.
“I feel responsible for the team, responsible for the club and for the relationship we have with our fans. It’s a very tough time, but I will try to help to sort it somehow.”