Jurgen Klopp writes open letter to Liverpool fans ahead of Newcastle clash

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged fans not to let their frustrations towards the owners get in the way of their support for the team against Newcastle on Saturday.

    Klopp appeared a little frustrated after his side’s last game, the 1-1 draw with Leeds United, after seeing fans protesting Liverpool’s involvement in the Super League. He admitted he was unimpressed with the idea but felt fans were blaming the team instead of the owners.

    Anfield protests
    Fans protested against the Super League | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    Tensions have cooled somewhat after the plans collapsed, and in the programme for Saturday’s game, Klopp urged supporters to get behind the team and put their frustrations to one side.

    “Hello wherever you are as we prepare to face Newcastle United at Anfield in the Premier League,” he wrote (via the club’s official website). “I welcome Steve Bruce, his players, staff and officials of our visitors.

    “Clearly I cannot write this column and not address an issue which has dominated the agenda, here and across Europe in the past seven days.

    “It is difficult for me in truth, because I have found some of the reaction around it difficult to take. And by this I don’t mean those who were against it or the protests. This was a great victory for football supporters – I want to make this clear from the outset. I agreed with their opposition. I made this clear to our owners.

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    Jurgen Klopp
    Klopp was against the Super League | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    “The part I have struggled with is seeing this club, a place I love and am now proud to call my home, trashed. And done so in a manner which suggests no redemption is possible. That I can’t take.”

    Leeds players wore t-shirts telling Liverpool and the other Super League sides that they must ‘earn’ success instead of buying it, but Klopp did not appreciate being the target of the message when his players had nothing to do with the decision.

    “There were times when the distinction between ‘club’ and this decision (and yes, those responsible for it) were too quickly blurred into one,” he continued. “To do so is an insult to the supporters in my view. And the players.

    “I am not free from blame either for letting emotion get the better of me during this. Particularly after the Leeds United game. When I found out that the flags were being removed from the Kop in protest it hurt me and I reacted in a way I wish I hadn’t. 

    “Of all the things that we have achieved at Liverpool I would argue that the bond between this team and our fans is arguably the most important because without it none of the success we have enjoyed would have been possible. 

    “So seeing a division appear was very difficult for me to accept. I now better understand the reasons why the supporters groups felt it necessary and I respect them but I would hope that we are never in this kind of situation again. They are always the solution and never the problem.”

    Finally, Klopp urged Liverpool fans to forgive the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, and focus on football once again.

    “Apologies are important and the one from our owners was necessary,” he said. “I have great respect and affection for these guys and that hasn’t changed during this. 

    “I know I am lucky that I know them personally, so I don’t expect these words to change hearts and minds in the short or medium term for those who are angry. But I’m not going to say something I don’t believe just because it will get me applause.

    “They are good people and they have been good for Liverpool Football Club. This is my opinion. This was a mistake. A big mistake. And it’s right they take responsibility for it. 

    “I want us to come through this and emerge as a club that is closer together. It’s unrealistic to expect this for our owners in the immediate future – understandably that will take time – but for the players and supporters and our brilliant staff we can do this. 

    “Because without each other we have nothing. Without enjoying this together what was the point of fighting for something in the first place? It’s to preserve this amazing feeling we share in our best moments and our lowest. It’s about our love for Liverpool Football Club that brings us together as a community. 

    Jurgen Klopp, Trent Alexander-Arnold
    Klopp feels Liverpool are bigger than one entity | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    “We have had a rough time for many reasons recently. But this particular episode is over now. And we must heal. Let’s start that today by enjoying this game. As a team we will give all we have for the supporters. It’s all we can ever do. 

    “Until we see each other again…”

    For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

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