Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan has moved to explain the club’s decision to sign up for the new Super League by penning a letter to employees on Monday morning.
The Reds are one of 12 clubs who have been announced as founding members of the new competition, joining the rest of the Premier League’s big six and three clubs each from Spain and Italy. The Super League will directly rival UEFA’s Champions League, but it hasn’t been received well at all.
Ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville has been among the vocal critics and fan groups across the country have united against the plans. At Anfield, signs were displayed reading ‘LFC fans against European super league’ and ‘Shame on you, RIP LFC’ referencing their involvement in the project.
The anger stemmed from Liverpool marketing themselves as a ‘family’ club who put their supporters above all else, only to push ahead with a project that the fans clearly want no part of.
In a letter sent out to employees on Monday, which has been leaked to The Athletic, CEO Hogan addressed that. His words, though, do little to placate an incensed fanbase who see the Super League as little more than a cash-grab at their expense.
Part of the letter reads: “We know that this announcement has provoked strong feelings within the game and elsewhere but we believe this decision is in the best long-term interests of Liverpool Football Club.
“Importantly, this is the beginning of the journey and we can now start an engagement process with you, supporters and key stakeholders to help shape this process in the right way.”
Another section describes the Super League as an opportunity for growth, with Hogan arguing Liverpool would be left behind by their rivals if they weren’t involved.
It goes on: “The Super League will be the future of European football and if we want to continue our journey of being a sustainable club with ambition to grow and continue winning trophies then we should absolutely be part of that process and have a seat at the table rather than outside that group.”
Liverpool are one of the iconic clubs in Champions League and European Cup history. They’ve won the famous trophy six times, and are defined by some of their most famous successes – like Istanbul in 2005 and the miraculous semi-final comeback against Barcelona in 2019.
So it’s easy to see why casting six decades of that aside to take part in a financially motivated closed-shop ‘Super League’ with no character or history has not been popular.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Porto are among the clubs who have rejected the proposals, but so far no one invited from the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A has said no.