James Milner – Liverpool’s captain for the draw at Leeds last night – risked the wrath of his employers by admitting that he hopes the European Super League doesn’t happen.
The Reds were one of six Premier League clubs to become a founding member of the European Super League, which also includes giants such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – a move that has drawn worldwide condemnation for sheer greed and destroying the fabric of football.
Milner, after wearing the armband for the Premier League game at Elland Road, revealed that the squad only found out about the news of the new breakaway league on the same day as the fans and that he does not support it.
James Milner has claimed that he hopes the proposed European Super League doesn’t happen
The midfielder wore the armband for the Reds as they drew 1-1 away at Leeds at Elland Road
Milner told Sky Sports: ‘We (the players) try and concentrate on the game, we have to try and be professional.
‘We became aware when it broke yesterday (Sunday). (We have a) lot of questions; I don’t like it, I hope it doesn’t happen.
‘(It’s) difficult for us, but I can only imagine what has been said.’
Fans opposed to the European Super League had earlier attempted to block Liverpool’s team bus from arriving at Elland Road.
Leeds and Liverpool fans also gathered together to hold up banners expressing their feelings against the proposed midweek competition.
‘Players have no say, (it) felt a bit unjust what we faced coming here tonight, we need to stay strong,’ Milner added to address the scenes before kick-off outside the ground.
Supporters attempted to block Liverpool’s team bus from arriving at Elland Road
Fans held banners outside Elland Road ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Leeds after the Merseysiders joined the European Super League on Sunday
The new European Super League plans have been highly criticised, mainly due to the rule that the same 15 clubs will automatically qualify for the tournament irrespective of their performances in the domestic league. This is in stark contrast to the current Champions League, which teams must qualify for every year.
Liverpool’s American owners were targeted by their own fans during the protests.
One banner from an angry Liverpool supporter read: ‘Fans say no to Fenway’s Super Greed (FSG). No Super League.’
Another banner unveiled by supporters read: ‘Love for the working class game, ruined by greed and corruption! RIP LFC. Thanks for the memories’
Other banners outside the ground read: ‘RIP Football 1863-2021’ and ‘Fans before finance’.
Former Reds defender Jamie Carragher warned that the developments over the last couple of days could see worrying changes at Anfield.
Jamie Carragher insists Liverpool’s owners would be chased out of the club by the fans if Jurgen Klopp (right) left them
Carragher insisted Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group owners would be chased out of the club by the fans if Jurgen Klopp left the club following Sunday’s announcement of the controversial European Super League proposals.
Speaking in 2019, the German said the current Champions League is the Super League and was against the idea of a new system being created, which he revealed he was still not in favour of ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Leeds.
Klopp’s comments came after a day in which Reds fans were seen protesting outside Anfield with banners as well as at Elland Road.
Reds fans successfully protested against former owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, with the Americans consequently selling the club in 2010 to John W Henry and FSG.
Reds fans managed to get former owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks to sell the club
And Carragher believes John W. Henry would face the same fate if the German boss departed
And speaking to Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Carragher insisted the same would happen to Henry and his current group should Klopp leave, accusing the owners of financially exploiting the club’s history of winning trophies.
‘From my club, the only reason Liverpool are in this is or have a chance in being in this Super League, is because they’ve won six European Cups and 20 league titles. Only one of each came under FSG,’ Carragher said.
‘They have used everything Liverpool have done in their history, going to even before Bill Shankly, to line their own pockets.
‘The biggest thing is that everyone’s against it tonight. Jurgen Klopp spoke about this in 2019 and made his stance very clear.
‘If Liverpool lose their manager on the back of this in the next 12 months, then the owners will be run out of that club in a week. I can assure you of that.
‘It hurts me more because this ownership bought Liverpool on the back of other American owners who ran the club badly and the fans got them out.
‘These [owners] got the club for a steal. It is now six or seven times bigger, they’ve made their money and they won the lottery with Liverpool.’