Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said he was "sickened" that the Merseyside club he spent his entire playing career with has allowed itself to be "tainted by association with the European Super League".
"All I have heard from Liverpool this year is how much they have missed their fans," he wrote in his Telegraph column.
"Funny how the voices on the Kop matter only when it is most convenient.
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"The more I read about the European Super League proposals, the more it seems Liverpool’s owners must like empty stadiums because all they have done is raise the likelihood of another mass walkout.
"Liverpool’s game with Leeds on Monday night could not be better timed to expose the insanity of the closed-shop idea.
"It is a game with potentially massive ramifications for Champions League qualification, full of jeopardy, and hence drama.
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"Millions will tune in for that reason, emotions running high whatever the result. The same anxious excitement will accompany all of Liverpool’s remaining seven games, which is why the broadcasters pay millions for them.
"That is the beauty of league football – where every action and point matters. That is why, as a former Liverpool player, it sickens me that my club’s reputation is being damaged by the arrogance of an ownership group that wants to remove such peril, creating a culture where we no longer need to fight to earn our success. That is the antithesis of everything I understand football – especially in my city – to stand for.
To be tainted by association with the European Super League is bad enough, but Liverpool’s apparent leading role in threatening football’s competitive ideals – the very ideals which allowed the club to emerge from England’s second division to become six-time European champions – is a betrayal of a heritage they are seeking to cash in on.
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"Manchester United’s shameless capitalism does not surprise me. United fans will agree that from day one, the Glazers have never hidden the fact they bought the club for the cash. They summed up their contempt for United fans when introducing a system forcing season-ticket holders to pay additional fees for cup matches.
"But John W Henry is more cunning, courting fans’ groups in his early years and presenting himself as keen to engage, yet consistently failing to grasp the culture of the Kop. I was among the paying season-ticket holders who walked out in disgust when Liverpool tried to charge £77 for match tickets in 2016, and only last summer the club were forced to backtrack on their attempts to claim taxpayer funds for furloughed staff.
"Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs will also get rightly hammered for this. Those four always seem happy hiding behind Liverpool and United when the flak is flying.
"Whenever these radical schemes emerge, it is an opportunity for everyone to pile in, accusing the so-called “elite” of self-interest. True as that is, the moralistic intervention of UEFA, the Football Association, national leagues and whatever government minister is after a few votes is laughable."
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