Manchester United legend Gary Neville has written in The Telegraph that Liverpool are in danger of “becoming a provincial club”.
The former United defender made the harsh comment in the wake of the Raheem Sterling contract dispute.
Sterling was reported to be informing the Liverpool bosses in the meeting on Friday that he does not want to sign a new contract, and that he wants to leave in the summer transfer window.
The England international winger wants to leave Anfield as he is keen on winning trophies and progressing in his career.
Neville does not blame Sterling for wishing to move on to further his career and warns Liverpool about losing their status in world football.
“But has Raheem Sterling really let Liverpool down by suggesting he wants to leave or is he just a kid who wants to play football and win trophies?” the 40-year-old wrote in The Telegraph.
“There is a wider context to this story and it centres on how Liverpool have gone from being from one Europe’s great superpowers to one which is in danger of becoming a provincial club.”
Neville goes to highlight that over the last 10 to 15 years “Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez have all gone”.
The former England international is perhaps going over the top in suggesting that Liverpool could end up as a “provincial club”, but there can be no denial that the Merseyside outfit are not a major superpower in Europe anymore.
True, Liverpool remain one of the biggest clubs in the world with a lot of history and tradition, but failure to win the Premier League and play in the Champions League regularly means that they are not a true European ‘giant’ when it comes to matters on the pitch.