LIVERPOOL: Banners bearing slogans calling for the removal of Liverpool's American ownership were on view outside Anfield before the team's Premier League match against Newcastle as English soccer fans continued to show their dissatisfaction about the aborted Super League project on Saturday.
The protests on Anfield Road were muted compared to those by several hundred Arsenal fans outside Emirates Stadium on Friday ahead of its game against Everton. The sentiments were similar, however, with club owners the targets of criticism.
“£nough is £nough FSG Out” and “Henry, You have blood on your hands,” were the words on some of the banners, referencing Fenway Sports Group and principal owner John Henry.
There were around 150 Liverpool fans outside the stadium and they greeted the players and management with warm applause as the team bus arrived at Anfield.
That highlighted the separation supporters were making between the owners of England's so-called “Big Six” clubs who were behind the Super League, and the rest of the club.
“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," Klopp said in his notes in the matchday program.
“It was right to take apart the concept and it was fair to criticize it, along with those who came up with it and also how it was presented. All legitimate in my view. The anger and disappointment was justified but there were times when the distinction between ‘club’ and this decision (and yes, those responsible for it) were too quickly blurred into one."
Chelsea is among the clubs that attempted the breakaway and more protests are expected before its game against West Ham later Saturday.
A statement published late Friday by Chelsea expressed “regret” at members of its hierarchy getting involved in the Super League proposals, though there was no apology.
It promised to involve supporters in any future discussions about “new mechanisms or structures” and to “safeguard fan representation in the club's work.”
“The club does ask, however, that this dialogue is conducted in a respectful way,” the Chelsea statement said. “The abuse which some club representatives have been the target of over the past few days is not acceptable.”