Former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel has slammed their decision to be a part of the now failed Super League plans.
As you’re surely aware, the Premier League champions were announced as part of the group of European teams who would be joining the newly formed league on Sunday.
They were part of six out of the Premier League to do so, with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham all also signing up to the plans.
The decision was meet with widespread outrage from fans, pundits and fellow clubs alike, leading to a huge backlash that eventually saw the clubs all pull out of the proposed idea.
Liverpool owner John Henry has since published a video apologising to the club’s fans on social media, but the criticism keeps on coming, with Babbel the latest to join in.
“I was very disappointed because I would never have thought it possible that a club like Liverpool FC would be willing to take such a step,” he told Spox.
“I would have expected it from many clubs. But the fact that Liverpool FC, of all clubs, would be prepared to do this really irritated me.
“When I found out afterwards that neither Jürgen Klopp nor the team had been made aware of the plans, I knew: ‘Okay, there were a few gentlemen involved who have nothing to do with the history of this club and the history of the fans.
“The fact that the main people in charge of the sporting side didn’t know anything about it finally calmed me down a bit.
“It was clear that only the business people, who only think about money and are prepared to sell the soul of the club for it, had made this decision.”
Indeed, much of the blame has been laid at Liverpool owners FSG’s feet, with some now calling for them to leave the club.
It is believed that they, alongside fellow Americans, the Glazers, who own Manchester United, were very much part of the driving force behind the English clubs signing up to the scheme.
It’s not the first time either set of owners have been forced to change their plans, with Liverpool’s, in particular, having cooked up several schemes that have been rejected outright by the fans and later cancelled.
That’s formed the basis for much of the criticism following the collapse of the ESL, and Babbel believes their plans are caused by something more than a search for money.
“I think there is also a certain arrogance involved. Many owners come from the USA or the Asian region and see huge potential there,” he added.
“It’s all about making football take place even more in the USA or in Asia to satisfy the needs of these fans.
That’s where the customers are who bring the money. I really liked a fan banner that said: ‘We are the fans, not the customers’. The high-ups didn’t expect this response, so they folded.”