Leeds take aim at Klopp & Liverpool over Elliott injury in controversial matchday programme notes


Angus Kinnear, managing director at Elland Road, has hit out at the Reds following an unfortunate incident in a recent Premier League fixture

Leeds United’s managing director, Angus Kinnear, has used his programme notes ahead of a Premier League meeting with West Ham to aim a controversial dig at Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, with a German coach accused of influencing match officials.

The Whites and Reds locked horns at Elland Road on September 12 in a contest that will be remembered for a horror injury suffered by Harvey Elliott, rather than a 3-0 win for the visitors.

A coming together between teenage star Elliott and Leeds defender Pascal Struijk resulted in the former suffering a badly dislocated ankle, with Klopp and his coaching team getting involved before a red card was eventually brandished.

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What has been said?

Referee Craig Pawson had initially allowed play to continue before being advised to watch the incident back, with Klopp approaching him on the field while Elliott received treatment.

Leeds appealed Strujk’s dismissal, with Elliott admitting that he was the victim of an unfortunate accident, but the Football Association upheld the original decision and a subsequent ban.

Those at Elland Road are still stewing, with Kinnear writing: “Obviously, our concern was for the welfare of Harvey Elliott, whose response, both at the time and subsequently on social media, proves he has as much class off the pitch as he has on it.

“We were all pleased to hear that his prognosis was not as bad as first feared and he will be back again next season. However, the addlepated refereeing of the incident was compounded by the anonymity of VAR and the failure of the subsequent appeal process.

“I believe we made a compelling case that a tackle that was not even viewed as a foul by any of the officials, the opposing players and a crowd of 37,000 could retrospectively be deemed as a dismissal on the strength of an assessment of the seriousness of the injury.

“One of the panel of three agreed that there is an inherent risk to the welfare of the player in every challenge and that therefore the tackle was not serious foul play.

“Conversely, the remaining two delegates did not agree. They argued that it was an obvious refereeing error and may have inadvertently set a precedent that any serious injuries that occur during physical contact must be met with disciplinary action.

“Following the panel’s decision, we were left with no other recourse than to humbly request to the Premier League that opposing head coaches are not selected to officiate any more of our games for the remainder of the season.”

When will Elliott be back?

Harvey Elliott Liverpool 2021-22

Elliott has undergone surgery since being forced from the field in West Yorkshire and is now starting out on a long road to recovery.

Leeds and the rest of the sporting world wish him all the best in that rehabilitation, with Liverpool hinting that a talented youngster could come back into their plans before the end of the season.

The Reds’ doctor, Jim Moxon, has told the club’s official website: “Harvey sustained a fracture dislocation of his left ankle during the game.

“We were able to reduce the dislocation immediately on the pitch and Harvey had surgery to repair the fracture and ligaments damaged in the incident. The operation was a success so his comeback starts now.

“We won’t put pressure on him by setting a specific timeframe beyond being able to say with confidence we expect him to feature again later in the season following our rehab programme.”

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