A little more than a decade ago, Liverpool’s last owners got themselves into a fight with many of the club’s most loyal supporters. In the end, those supporters would go on to play a key role in their eventual removal from it.
Now, there are signs current owners Fenway Sports Group may be moving towards open conflict with the supporters of Liverpool Football Club following news that they were joining in the founding of a European Super League.
Fan group Spirit of Shankly said they were “appalled and completely oppose” the formation of a Super League. Meanwhile, fellow fan group Spion Kop 1906 have announced they will be removing their flags from Anfield’s Kop.
Meanwhile, journalists are reporting the clubs involved have taken to referring to such supporters and supporter groups as “legacy fans” in internal documents that stress the need to focus instead on “fans of the future.”
The proposed closed Super League would see permanent membership for Liverpool and 14 other clubs, removing the threat of missing out on European play for the clubs and making it easy to see the appeal for the owners.
For the fans, though, that would end away days to far flung European locales, replacing trips to Lisbon or Lyon with an annual visit to the Bernabéu—while turning famous European nights at Anfield into just another league tie.
It would also do significant damage to domestic leagues, as without a need to qualify for Europe via league position it would remove any drama from the second half of the season for sides not still in the title race.
With that in mind, UEFA are believed to be determined to expel the involved sides from Europe next season should they push ahead with their plans, which would make Liverpool’s finishing position this season irrelevant.