Klopp welcomes Spirit of Shankly meeting as Liverpool’s “secret sauce”

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Jurgen Klopp has welcomed a positive meeting between Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan and supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly, with “meaningful progress” to be made.

Hogan met with Spirit of Shankly (SOS) representatives on Tuesday to discuss the next steps following the Super League fallout, with fan engagement a priority.

SOS described the meeting as “positive,” having outlined their four requests to the club, including fan representation at board level and for FSG themselves to cover any costs incurred due to the Super League.

The hope is that this is the first step towards a closer link between Liverpool and the fans, with the plan to break away from the existing Champions League setup coming after no consultation.

Klopp is clearly of that belief, using his programme notes ahead of Saturday’s clash with Southampton to describe the bond with supporters as the Reds’ “secret sauce.”

“I was pleased to see the statements that came out of that, talking about making meaningful progress through engagement,” he wrote of the SOS meeting.

“I have said in previous columns, the bond and togetherness between fans and the team has been our secret ‘sauce’ as a club.

“Whatever any of us can do to preserve that is essential to our present and future.

“I’m confident, because of the quality of people involved on all sides, that we can achieve this.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 24, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is a strong advocate of fans, acknowledging how important they are to Liverpool’s success on the pitch.

And despite FSG being his employers, he knows the supporters have been and will be with the club for much longer than they will.

The manager was put on the spot in the immediate aftermath of the Super League announcement, but has made clear his opposition of any breakaway league, with his values aligning with those of the supporters.

That he has used his programme notes to address the situation is important, as it highlights the significance he places on “meaningful progress” with fan engagement.

Liverpool should continue to work with SOS, as a supporters’ union, to better understanding the feeling among those within the stands and beyond, with FSG having risked alienating their lifeblood.

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