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Jordan Henderson Widely Criticised Over His Justifications For Saudi Arabia Move

Jordan Henderson Widely Criticised Over His Justifications For Saudi Arabia Move
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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While quite a few high profile footballers have made the move to Saudi Arabia in recent months, few of them received the type of backlash that was directed at Jordan Henderson after his switch to Al Ettifaq.

You can understand why that was the case. The midfielder was a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ causes during his time as Liverpool captain, engaging heavily with that community and doing his best to highlight their cause in a public forum.

To go from that to playing in a country where homosexuality is outlawed is a remarkable contrast.

Of course, many felt that the move was simply down to money. There were reports suggesting that Henderson was set to earn in the region of £700,000 per week in the Middle East. In a sense, it was said that he had sold out his morales for a larger payday.

Jordan Henderson has now given a wide ranging interview to claim this was not the case. However, it has only served to heap further criticism on his decision.

Jordan Henderson criticised over interview with The Athletic

In an interview with The Athletic published this morning, Jordan Henderson made a number of claims about his move to Saudi Arabia.

Among them, he said that his move to the country was not motivated by money, and that he had felt unwanted at Liverpool after a conversation with manager Jurgen Klopp.


I’ve got a very good relationship with Jurgen. He was very honest with me. I won’t go into detail about the conversation because it’s private, but it put me in a position where I knew that I wasn’t going to be playing as much. I knew there were going to be new players coming in my position...

People will see this club come with loads of money and he’s just gone, “Yeah, I’m going.” When in reality that just wasn’t the case at all. People can believe me or not, but in my life and my career, money has never been a motivation. Ever.


Of course, the claim that money was not a motivating factor in this transfer is something that many will find hard to believe, even if he says that the wages he is earning are nowhere near the amount reported in the media.


When it comes to criticism directed at Henderson by the LGBTQ+ community, it is something he said he understands.

I can understand the frustration. I can understand the anger. I get it. All I can say around that is that I’m sorry that they feel like that. My intention was never, ever to hurt anyone. My intention has always been to help causes and communities where I felt like they had asked for my help.

You can read the interview in full here.


Jordan Henderson would go on to say his views on the matter had not changed, but he also had to 'respect the culture and religion' of the country where he now played his football.

Those are words that have rung hollow for many.

While the player himself may say his view remain unchanged, his willingness to champion that cause in public has now been altered dramatically. Reading this particular interview, it is difficult to think that he has not completely sold out when it comes to giving up on what were said to be strong beliefs in order to appease his new employer.


These comments, along with others in which he seemed to brush away criticisms of Qatar and their labour issues, have been widely panned.

While the general public can never been certain on the motivations behind Jordan Henderson's move to Saudi Arabia, it is clear his public image has now been permanently changed.

Regardless of his claims, that is something he will have to accept moving forward.

SEE ALSO: Ireland U21 Defender Among Lyon Players Confronted By Angry Fans

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