Liverpool's US owner apologises for 'disruption I caused' over European Super League

21 April 2021, 08:44 | Updated: 21 April 2021, 11:14

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Liverpool's US owner has apologised to fans "for the disruption I caused" after the club backed out of plans to join the controversial European Super League.

John W Henry said it "goes without saying" that the project "was never going to stand without the support of fans".

In a video released on the club's twitter account, he said: "I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours.

"It goes without saying, but should be said, that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of fans - no one ever thought differently.

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"In England, over these 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you."

He also apologised to manager Jurgen Klopp and the players, adding: "They have absolutely no responsibility for this disruption - they were the most disrupted and unfairly so - this is what hurts the most.

"They love your club and work to make you proud every single day."

Liverpool's US owner John W Henry has apologised to fans and players for the European Super League
Liverpool's US owner John W Henry has apologised to fans and players for the European Super League. Picture: PA Images

Henry said he took full personal responsibility for "the unnecessary negativity" and that fans had displayed their "rightful power".

"In this endeavour I've let you down and I'm sorry and I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the last couple of days," he said.

"It's something I won't forget and shows the power the fans have today and will rightfully continue to have.

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"If there's one thing this horrible pandemic has clearly shown, it's how crucial fans are to our sport, and to every sport - it's shown in every empty stadium.

"It's been an incredibly tough year for all of us, virtually no-one unaffected, and it's important the Liverpool FC family remain intact, vital and committed.

"From what we've seen of you globally, with local gestures of kindness and support. I can promise you I will do whatever I can to further that. Thanks for listening."

The apology follows the withdrawal of all 'big six' Premier League football clubs from the elite competition.

Manchester City and Chelsea announced their decisions to leave the Super League on Tuesday evening - shortly followed by Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United - less than three days after it was announced.

A statement from Liverpool said: "Liverpool Football Club can confirm that our involvement in proposed plans to form a European Super League has been discontinued.

"In recent days, the club has received representations from various key stakeholders, both internally and externally, and we would like to thank them for their valuable contributions."

READ MORE: Government announces fan-led review into football amid European Super League plans

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson led the backlash within the club with a tweet which read: "We don't like it and we don't want it to happen. This is our collective position.

"Our commitment to this football club and its supporters is absolute and unconditional. You'll never walk alone."

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher says club owners Fenway Sports Group should no longer continue at the helm.

"Klopp threw the owners under the bus, the captain has, Kenny Dalglish has," he added.

"I don't know what they are hanging on for. I don't see a future for the ownership on the back of this."

Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson led players' response to the controversy
Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson led players' response to the controversy. Picture: PA Images

Boris Johnson said it was "the right result for football fans" after days of Government pressure on the clubs to back out, including threats of legislative action and the defunding of policing for match days.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told LBC on Wednesday it was a "real day for fans" of the sport.

He said: "What owners need to remember is that they are temporary custodians of our game and our national heritage - something that goes back over a century and that's why I and the Prime Minister were so determined to stand behind those fans to do whatever it took to stop these measures."

The Government still intends to launch a fan-led review into English football and how it is governed following the chaos.

Four out of the twelve original clubs remain signed up to the Super League, including Spanish giants Real Madrid - whose president Florentino Perez chairs the breakaway organisation - and Barcelona.

Founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli admitted on Wednesday morning that plans can longer go ahead.

Asked by Reuters if the project could continue without the Premier League clubs, he said: "To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case."

LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid - a major player - decided to withdraw after the comments, shortly followed by Serie A outfit Inter Milan.