Shrewsbury Town earned a huge draw with Liverpool earlier in the season, taking the champions-elect to a replay at Anfield.
It should have been a great occasion, instead Jurgen Klopp chose to honour the winter break and sent his Under 23 out to face the Shrews. The game wasn’t televised and, to make matters worse, Salop lost the tie. It raised a few eyebrows, Liverpool took some stick for their actions and everybody thought it was done and dusted.
It has now been revealed that Shrewsbury lodged a complaint with the FA, which has only been thrown out this week. That led to Salop chief executive Brian Caldwell to lash out in an open letter to fans, saying: “You will recall our incredible come back in the FA Cup Fourth Round tie live on BBC with Liverpool to draw 2-2 back in January.
“Immediately following the match, the 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.
“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.
“This 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 and European Champions and Premier League Champions (elect).
“In February we put a complaint into 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.”
That has, of course, prompted Liverpool fans to respond on Twitter, mainly mocking Salop as they were unable to beat the young side, managed by Neil Critchley who has since taken over at Blackpool.
Speaking of financial benefits, if you had managed to beat our under 12 side you could've benefited hugely by progressing to the next round and facing Chelsea. Not our problem you couldn't manage it
— LFCJ (@LFCJ__) June 10, 2020
— ً (@eoinsim1) June 10, 2020
Come on you got more than you were expecting by getting to play at a packed Anfield. Want us to cover your expenses and transfers for the next 100 years or something?
— * CHAMP19NS * (@RealHarrison17) June 10, 2020
It shows little class from your club. And it smacks of sour grapes because Shrewsbury didn’t win the game, considering the line-up they played against they had a great chance, but played so poorly. We all know there would have been no comlaining to the FA has they gone through.
— B ????????? (@theklopposphere) June 10, 2020
Still couldn’t beat the 18’s. all top clubs rotate in the FA Cup against lower league teams barring maybe Manchester City
— CamLongstaff2 (@Camlongstaff2) June 10, 2020
— Eddie Corrigan* (@eddie_corrigan) June 10, 2020
You would have earned more £££ in the FA Cup if you hadn't bottled it against our U12s ???
— CHILIVMUS (@SportandMusic10) June 10, 2020
got beat by our boys who can’t legally drink alcohol
— josh smedley x (@Joshh__Smedleyy) June 10, 2020
Still crying after getting bodied by the Liverpool Under 10s I see.
— RossFC (@RossT17) June 10, 2020
Gave you the best chance of progressing by playing a group of GCSE students, too bad you didn't take it.
— . (@QuicklyOrigi) June 10, 2020