Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has criticised UEFA for their attempts to introduce a new format for the Champions League group stages during a time when they played the victim in light of plans for the European Super League. UEFA have drawn up plans for a new format that involves a new mini-league stage, where clubs will play 10 group matches instead of the current six.
Not only that, but the competition will also increase from 32 participants to 36 to ensure more games are crammed in.
The proposals include plans to benefit the bigger clubs with teams with historical success in the European Cup to be allocated two of the four new spots.
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan went public with his disapproval of UEFA’s plans and his former manager Klopp has now followed suit.
“You can’t just introduce always more competitions,” Klopp said.
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The German made it clear on Monday night before the 1-1 draw at Leeds that he was opposed to the idea, hinting that his hands were tied.
Yet following protest from the club’s supporters and a message of unity from the players, Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group backed down and ordered a legal team to organise their withdrawal.
“I’m not surprised how the players dealt with it,” Klopp said on his squad, who found out at the same time as everyone else that Liverpool had signed up to the idea.
“They are grown-ups. It was very good what they did, say their opinion, it’s not the first time they have done it and it won’t be the last.”
Liverpool owner John Henry issued a public apology to Klopp, his players, staff and all the supporters on Wednesday as he made it clear he made a big mistake.
When asked if he’d received a separate apology, Klopp claimed he did not feel it was necessary as he considers the case closed.
“No we hadn’t (he or the players),” he added. “I don’t think to be honest it is necessary. I was mentioned in the apology so that was personal enough for me.”
Klopp also urged the fans not to hold grudges, making it clear that the situation has not affected his relationship with the owners.
“I know the owners, I have known them six years, I know there are some moments when they might not have made right decision, this time for sure,” he explained.
“But it doesn’t change things for me, I prefer to deal with problems with people I know.”