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‘He’s spiky’: Jurgen Klopp and Gary Neville clash over Liverpool’s role in European Super League

Ben Burrows
·3-min read
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville (Sky Sports)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville (Sky Sports)

Jurgen Klopp and Gary Neville clashed on Monday night as tensions over plans for a new European Super League continue to run high.

Liverpool are one of 12 leading European clubs who have agreed to sign up for a new breakaway tournament that is set to rival the Champions League.

The move has been met with vociferous opposition from those inside and outside of the game with fan groups, pundits and even politicians weighing in since Sunday’s bombshell announcement.

Former Manchester United defender Neville has been one of the most vocal and has openly criticised his former club as well as Liverpool for their role in founding the new venture.

Reds boss Klopp was questioned about the proposals before and after Monday evening’s 1-1 draw at Leeds.

He was frustrated both that he and his players faced demonstrations outside Elland Road, and that Leeds warmed up in a T-shirts with the slogans ‘Earn It’ and ‘Football Is For The Fans’, with those messages also left in the away dressing room.

Asked about the t-shirts after the match, Klopp let loose with his feelings after Neville had already apologised for referencing Liverpool’s anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in his own criticism of the plans.

“I don’t like the way people are talking about the football club,” Klopp said on Sky Sports. “I take the criticism for everything, if we don’t play well I feel responsible and the players are the same, but this, we have nothing to do with this.

“When we came here, people were shouting at us. We have to be a little bit careful...

“Gary Neville was talking about ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. This already should be forbidden. It’s our anthem. We have the right to sing our anthem. He doesn’t understand it anyway so I don’t want this because it’s not fair.

“I don’t like this either, but I don’t talk about the other clubs. I wish Gary Neville would be in a hot seat somewhere and not where the most money is.

“He was at Manchester United where the most money is and now he’s at Sky where the most money is. Don’t forget that we have nothing to do with this. We are in the same situation like you all. We got the information yesterday and we still have to play football.

“‘Damn them to hell?’ Did he write that today? These things are really not OK.”

Sky Sports
Sky Sports

Neville responded by arguing that he and Klopp were actually in agreement, but defended his own comments.

“I’ve handed out enough insults over the years to Liverpool, but yesterday was nothing to do with insulting Liverpool,” he added. “I don’t know why I’m living in his head. I don’t know what’s spiked him.

“Yesterday was an impassioned plea from me about protecting football in this country.

“My biggest disappointment was with Manchester United and Liverpool. I think I’ve equally distributed enough criticism to both clubs in the last 24 hours so I don’t know what the problem is.”

Neville said he had worked hard for his 25-year career at United and his decade-long stint in broadcasting, and added: “I employ 600 people in the city and I’ve tried to look after them in a pandemic. Is that not a hot enough seat for him?”

Neville added: “He’s done a great job at Liverpool, I love his team, but the fact of the matter is, he’s spiky. He’s been let down by his owners. His owners have thrown him under a bus.

“To be fair, we’re on the same page. We’re on the same team, but he can’t say what he wants to say and I can, and I accept that.

“The Jurgen Klopp we know hates every single little thing about this more than I do and more than you do, because it goes against everything in his life that he believes in.”

Additional reporting by PA

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