Emotions were running high at Elland Road last night where Leeds took on Liverpool in the shadow of the announcement of the new “Super League”. The concept has been met with disgust by all football fans, and Liverpool were in the firing line last night over their involvement – though manager Jurgen Klopp decided to ease the pressure by launching a bizarre attack on Sky pundit Gary Neville.
Sky were covering the game live on Monday Night Football, with Neville and former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher in studio pre-match discussing the ramifications of the Super League. Neville was in flying form, firing shots at club executives and questioning whether they understood or cared for their respective clubs’ histories.
Neville was also a pundit on Sky’s coverage of Man United v Burnley on Super Sunday, where he called out the “big six” clubs for similar issues and called for immediate sanctions.
“Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal – they should know better. The history and tradition that runs through those clubs is enormous and I value it, I value the tradition that runs through those three clubs.
Liverpool Football Club – I mean, seriously. You go on the streets of Liverpool – now, I don’t have a good relationship with them, I don’t like them, they don’t like me. But one thing I always thought was they were honest, they had integrity, they would look after their people, they would look after their own – that’s gone, forget that.”
"This is disowning your own club stuff." 🚮pic.twitter.com/Sy0gM6qdgm
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 18, 2021
Neville went on to question the meaning of Liverpool’s anthem, suggesting that the club’s owners had degraded the meaning of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Speaking to Sky after his teams 1-1 draw at Leeds, Klopp was asked about his thoughts on the Super League – but instead opened with a tirade about Neville’s comments.
“Gary Neville speaks about ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – that, for me at least, should already be forbidden, to be honest. Because we have a lot of rights to sing that anthem and it’s our anthem and he doesn’t understand it anyway. So, I don’t want these kind of things because it’s unfair. I understand all the talks around and I don’t like it as well – but I don’t talk about other clubs now like this.
You can be emotional, but I would wish Gary Neville would be in a hotseat somewhere and not everywhere where the most money is. It was at Man United – would have been the most money there – did Sky buy the most money?
Don’t forget that we have nothing to do with it. We are in the same situation with you all, we got information and we have still to play football.”
— Kroenke OUT (@MD_AFC35) April 19, 2021
It was a fairly bizarre and unprovoked choice for an emotional Klopp to attack Neville, when it is clear that they’re both opposed to the idea of a Super League. Klopp went on to say as much in his post-match press conference, saying he will “try to help sort this somehow” and stressing the importance of the relationship between Liverpool FC and its fans.
Gary Neville seemed a bit taken aback by Klopp's comments, but he also stressed the power that both Klopp and other "big six" managers like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have to put an end to these plans. Jamie Carragher went on to speak powerfully on the potential for a major fallout in Liverpool if Klopp ultimately ends up leaving because of the proposals.
"If that man left #LFC over this, the supporters would have the owners out within a week."@Carra23 highlights the importance of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool after the manager spoke out against the European Super League. 🔴pic.twitter.com/thTDKrCeug
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 20, 2021
There remain plenty of questions about the Super League, but you’d have to say that petty arguments like those seen between Jurgen Klopp and Gary Neville on Sky last night aren’t likely to get us anywhere closer to putting an end to this farcical idea.