Jurgen Klopp told his Liverpool players yesterday that if they do not feel comfortable back in training, they are free to go home – without punishment or judgement.
This comes after it was suggested last week by a Premier League CEO, unnamed, that players who refuse to return should not get paid.
Klopp, as always, has provided a sensible and reasoned explanation of Liverpool’s thoughts towards the situation – and we couldn’t be more pleased with it.
“It is the players’ choice and that is clear,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“I said before the session, ‘You are here on free will. Usually you sign a contract and you have to be in when I tell you, but in this case if you don’t feel safe, you don’t have to be here’.
“There are no restrictions, no punishment, nothing. It’s their own decision and we respect that 100 per cent.
“The boys are all here, the first group of 10 players, then the next session will start, and another 10 players will be in, and then another five in the afternoon. We will see if they show up but so far, we know they will because they would have called us.
“The boys are fine. We would never put anybody in danger to do what we want to do. Yes, we love football, yes, it’s our job, but it’s not more important than our lives or the lives of other people.”
Liverpool’s owners and decision makers in the boardroom dropped the ball early on during the pandemic by trying to furlough non-playing staff.
But since then, the club has been pretty much faultless from top to bottom in their dealing of the situation.
Players have obeyed lockdown measures, Klopp has spoken brilliantly on the matter and the hierarchy quickly reversed its decision and apologised.
Now, we just hope they get fully fit, stay safe and can return to action and secure themselves the title!