Jurgen Klopp has spoken out about last weekend’s Old Trafford protests, saying a line was crossed when the demonstration became violent.
Liverpool‘s game with Manchester United was postponed after hundreds of United fans protesting about the club’s owners stormed the stadium before a minority clashed with police.
Klopp, who told television pundits such as Gary Neville to ‘calm down’ after they encouraged fans to protest in the wake of the failed European Super League project, said he fully respects fans’ right to express their opinion – but only in a peaceful way.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has condemned the violent clashes outside Old Trafford that caused the postponement of last Sunday’s match with Manchester United
Some police officers were injured after being pelted with bottles by protesting United fans
Thousands gathered to demonstrate against the Glazer family, who own Manchester United
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s home Premier League game against Southampton on Saturday night, he said: ‘Am I surprised that these kind of things happen?
‘No. I am an absolute believer in democracy, I am happy that people want to tell their opinions. But in situations like that it doesn’t happen too often that nobody gets hurt.
‘That’s why I said a week before when all the pundits are asking for protests, that we all have to be careful and calm down and ask for the right things.
‘I don’t know exactly what happened there but I heard some policemen got injured and these kind of things should not happen for sure. They should not break down doors and things like this.
‘Tell the world your opinion and what you think about something, that’s completely fine, but if it is not completely peaceful – and as far as I know it was not completely peaceful – that’s not right anymore.’
Klopp said he supports the right of fans to make their feelings known – but not in a violent way
Liverpool fans also protested after the club’s owners tried to join the European Super League
Liverpool’s principal owner John W. Henry was forced to make a grovelling apology to the fans
Klopp made clear that he wasn’t in favour of the breakaway European Super League despite Liverpool being among six Premier League clubs who signed up before beating a hasty retreat.
In the face of fan protests, Klopp told pundits to ‘calm down’ and insisted the club owners had learned their lessons.
He was described as ‘tone deaf’ by Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker as a result.
Lineker tweeted: ‘A handful of owners try to tear our game apart and may well try to do so again, and we’re just told to ‘calm down and move on’.
‘Huge admirer of Klopp but he’s spectacularly tone deaf here. Without the fans of our beautiful game it would be much uglier today.’
“You all have to calm down. It’s winding people up.”
“Nobody wanted it. Definitely. But now let’s deal with it.”
A passionate Jurgen Klopp on dealing with, and moving forward from the European Super League fallout.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2021
Gary Lineker felt Klopp had got the tone of his pre-match remarks on The Super League wrong
The Match of the Day host called Liverpool’s German manager ‘spectacularly tone deaf’
The match at Old Trafford has been rescheduled for next Thursday – May 13 – and Klopp admitted he had sympathy for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side must play twice in 48 hours.
Klopp said: ‘We were informed about the process but we had nothing to do with it really. Yes of course, I have every sympathy for him because it’s not how it should be.
‘But it’s not good for us either to be honest.I would have preferred to play the game last week.
‘We now have five games in the last two weeks so that’s not really cool but it is how it is. There is nothing to complain about, it is just the situation.’