Ex-Liverpool man delivers damning assessment of club's owners

Javier Mascherano Argentina

Javier Mascherano claims that the American owners of the Reds "will never understand" what the club is about.

Former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has claimed in an interview with the Independent that the club's owners "will never understand" what the club is all about because they so rarely attend matches at Anfield.

The Merseyside club were taken over by the American consortium Fenway Sports Group in 2010 and the parent company has been the subject of some controversy and criticism in its time in charge.

Recent weeks have seen increased dissent from the club's supporters over the issue of ticket pricing, with thousands of fans walking out early from the draw against Sunderland earlier this month over a plan to raise prices to £77, which have since been scrapped.

Mascherano, who played 139 times in three-and-a-half years at Liverpool before moving to Barcelona in 2010, told the Independent that the owners' lack of a close bond with the club and its supporters means that it is "not worth" them owning the club.

"Liverpool is a club where you need to be there to enjoy it," he said. "It’s not worth owning Liverpool if you are going to always be 20,000 miles away.

"It’s a club that belongs to the people. And you will never understand that if you are never there."

However, the midfielder-turned-defender did reserve some praise for the people in charge at Anfield for the decision to appoint Jurgen Klopp as Brendan Rodgers' successor in the dugout.

The Argentine continued: "Klopp is a coach for Liverpool. He is very much of the people. He likes to get close to people and that is what the people of Liverpool are like."

Under the ownership of the Fenway Sports Group, the Reds have won just one trophy, the League Cup in 2012, and have finished outside the top five in the Premier League in all but one season.

Klopp's side are currently eighth in the Premier League table, six points off a place in the top five, but they have a chance to win a second League Cup in five years when they face Manchester City in the final at Wembley on 28 February.

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