It is strange news in the fallout of the Super League climbdown, but Liverpool and Man United are in talks over a pair of pre-season friendlies at Anfield and Old Trafford.
Liverpool and United were two of the driving forces behind plans to break away into the Super League, and as such are two of the clubs to have felt the backlash most fiercely.
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has tendered his resignation, while there are calls for the owners of both clubs, Fenway Sports Group and the Glazer family, to sell up.
John W. Henry has issued a grovelling apology for his part in the scheme, though its sincerity is still questionable, with the 71-year-old insisting FSG’s “work isn’t done” at Liverpool.
And while it would be wrong to expect operations to cease at any point in the wake of the Super League’s collapse, it comes with bizarre timing that the Times‘ Paul Joyce reports that talks are underway between the Reds and United.
The focus of those is a pre-season double-header to aid the two clubs’ preparations for the return of supporters to Anfield and Old Trafford – and, of course, to generate sizeable funds.
Joyce reveals that the plan is for Liverpool to visit United in late July, with the Anfield friendly to then be held in early August, as part of both sides’ warmup schedule.
Government restrictions on mass gatherings are set to be lifted on June 21, and therefore if the lockdown roadmap runs smoothly that means that capacity crowds of 53,394 and 76,000 will be permitted to attend.
The plan comes due to the difficulty in travelling back to the United States or the Far East as part of pre-season, with domestic friendlies set to dominate Liverpool’s summer instead.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side are, however, likely to travel to Austria and France again for training camps, having visited Saalfelden and Evian in recent seasons.