'It can cripple them' - Fowler sends warning to Liverpool, draws comparisons with Leeds
By Amir Mir
Robbie Fowler is hoping Liverpool can secure Champions League football for next season but fired warning shots about what can happen if they don’t.
The former Premier League striker drew comparisons with his time at Leeds and what has happened to the club since being outside of the top tier.
Leeds suffered relegation during the 2003/04 season as Fowler compared it with Liverpool’s time outside of the top four.
Fowler believes spending so much time outside of the Champions League “can cripple them” as he is hoping the Reds can go on to achieve more than just a top four finish.
“Don’t get me wrong, it will be an achievement to have qualified for the Champions’ League, and of course I’ll be rooting for them to finish the job against Boro,” Fowler told the Mirror.
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“But come on. With these clubs, the Liverpool’s, Arsenal’s, Man United’s, their history is about trophies.
“I’ll be delighted if they win mind, and gutted if they don’t because Liverpool have been outside the Champions’ League for far too long. And not being there hurts a club massively. It can even cripple them (as I discovered painfully at Leeds).”
Jurgen Klopp’s side take on already-relegated Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon knowing three points will help them secure Champions League football.
When Fowler was at Leeds they reached the semi-final stages of that competition in 2001 but eventually found themselves in the second tier after financial troubles.
Since 2004, the Yorkshire outfit have not returned to the promise land as they missed out on a play-off place this season by five points.
Nonetheless, Klopp will be hoping to bring the European nights back to Anfield after joining the club last season.
After Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, he guided them to the Europa League final where they were eventually beaten by La Liga giants Sevilla.
The Merseyside club missed out on the top four last term but they are now in the driving seat going into the last day of this campaign.
In other Liverpool news, Stan Collymore is hoping this valuable fringe player is still at the club next season.