Klopp ruined ‘a wonderful moment’ – Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury complained to the FA, claiming Liverpool had broken FA Cup rules by not fielding their strongest side, but the case was dismissed last week

Last Updated: 11/06/20 8:38am

Jurgen Klopp jokes with Shrewsbury first-team coach Dean Whitehead before their original FA Cup fourth-round tie at New Meadow
Jurgen Klopp jokes with Shrewsbury first-team coach Dean Whitehead before their original FA Cup fourth-round tie at New Meadow

Jurgen Klopp has been heavily criticised by Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell for “ruining a special occasion” for his side by fielding a weakened team during their FA Cup fourth-round replay in February.

After drawing the original tie 2-2 at Shrewsbury’s New Meadow, the League One club earned an exciting trip to Anfield.

The replay clashed with the mid-season Premier League break, which Klopp honoured by sending all his stars on holiday rather than play the game.

Liverpool named their youngest ever side for the FA Cup replay, beating Shrewsbury 1-0 at Anfield
Liverpool named their youngest ever side for the FA Cup replay, beating Shrewsbury 1-0 at Anfield

Liverpool’s U23 boss Neil Critchley took charge and named the youngest side in the club’s history, winning 1-0 following Ro-Shaun Williams’ 75th-minute own goal, moments after the visitors saw David Edwards’ header ruled out by VAR.

Speaking before the replay, Klopp argued “we have respect for the players’ welfare and they need this time off”. Owing to their involvement in the Club World Cup and Carabao Cup quarter-finals, Klopp’s side were coming off the back of an intensely busy winter that included eight games in 22 days.

Liverpool's starting line-up had an average age of 19 years and 102 days
Liverpool’s starting line-up had an average age of 19 years and 102 days

Shrewsbury complained to the FA, claiming Liverpool had broken FA Cup rules by not fielding their strongest side, but the case was dismissed last week.

In an open letter to Shrewsbury supporters, Caldwell said: “Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ruined what should have been a wonderful moment for our Club by making public statements that he and all of his first-team would not attend the replay at Anfield, effectively ruining what should have been not just financially but for the players and fans a wonderful achievement and a very special occasion.

Curtis Jones and 16-year-old Harvey Elliott (pictured) were the only two players with Premier League experience
Curtis Jones and 16-year-old Harvey Elliott (pictured) were the only two players with Premier League experience

“We struggled to believe that his statements had no effect on the replay being televised and we are convinced that LFC broke the FA Cup rules by not ‘fielding their strongest team’ in the return fixture which had a knock-on effect of STFC not getting anywhere near the financial rewards that were to be expected from an FA Cup Fourth Round replay including a potential live TV fee against the World & European Champions and Premier League Champions (elect).

“In February, we put a complaint in to the FA about the alleged rule breach but unfortunately and quite unexpectedly we were informed that this was dismissed last week (four months on).

“This without doubt resulted in a much lesser occasion for our players and fans as well as the financial reward that would have been expected from LFC playing their strongest team and abiding by the FA Cup rules.”

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Source : Sky Sports