Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he remains opposed to the idea of a European Super League despite his club agreeing to join it.
In 2019 Klopp told Kicker he hoped there would never be a Super League.
Asked by Sky Sports before Monday’s Premier League game with Leeds United, he said: “My feelings didn’t change. My opinion didn’t change.”
Fans of several clubs protested outside Elland Road – burning a Liverpool shirt – as Reds fans also showed banners opposing the move at Anfield.
A plane flew over Leeds’ ground saying ‘No to Super League’ and United players wore T-shirts saying ‘Earn it’ next to the Champions League logo and ‘Football is for the fans’.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has said clubs and players involved with the ESL could be banned “as soon as possible” from all Uefa competitions – and the World Cup.
Klopp continued: “People are not happy with it, I can understand it. I can’t say a lot more because we were not involved in the process – not the players, not me – we didn’t know about it. We will have to wait how it develops.
“I like the competitive aspect of football. I like that West Ham might play in the Champions League. I don’t want them to, because we want to, but I like they have the chance.”
Klopp said he did not want his players to be blamed for a boardroom decision.
“I’ve heard a few things but what I really don’t like, Liverpool Football Club is much more than some decisions,” he said.
“The most important part of football are the supporters and the team. We have to make sure nothing gets between that. I’ve heard there are banners but the players didn’t do anything wrong. We have to all stick together.”
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was also critical in his pre-match interview with Sky.
“The fundamental problem is the rich always aspire to be more rich without considering the consequences for the rest. As they gain more power they start demanding more privilege over the rest,” he said.
“What makes competition great is the possibility for one of those weak teams to develop, not the big teams playing each other.”
European Super League – The key points…
- A dozen clubs – including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – agree to form a new midweek competition
- The European Super League will feature 20 clubs in total and run alongside domestic leagues such as the Premier League
- The UK government, France’s president, Uefa, the Premier League, Europe’s major leagues, players’ unions and former players have all strongly criticised the move
- The UK government said it is prepared “to put everything on the table to prevent this from happening”
- The concept is labelled “grotesque”, “disgraceful” and “the ultimate betrayal”
- A YouGov poll of 1,730 football fans found 79% opposed the idea of a Super League
- The 14 Premier League clubs not involved in the ESL move will meet on Tuesday