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“We had our issues” – A history of Jurgen Klopp quotes on Paul Tierney


Jurgen Klopp hasn’t always had the best of relationships with Premier League referees, but one name tends to resurface more than most.

The standard of officiating in England has come under fire at various points in recent times, with the Liverpool boss never shy in making his feelings known when decisions go against his side.

Paul Tierney has felt the brunt of that more than most, but largely because he has made a disproportionate number of controversial calls at the expense of the Reds.

Despite coming away with a 2-0 victory, the Boxing Day clash with Burnley saw the referee lose even more favour with Liverpool fans after he disallowed two further goals scored by Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo.

Here’s a look at some of Klopp’s most memorable lines when discussing an official he has plenty of previous with!


“I have no problems with any referees, only you”

Perhaps Klopp’s most famous Tierney quote came after an action-packed 2-2 draw away to Tottenham back in December 2021, when he told Tierney: “I have no problems with any referees, only you.”

It came after the Reds missed out on what would have been a vital three points in North London, when Tierney sent Andy Robertson off for a tackle that looked equally, if not less dangerous, than a Harry Kane challenge in the same contest.

That was far from the first time the two had clashed, however, with the Liverpool boss told to “get over it” by Tierney after the referee failed to give a free-kick for a foul on Gini Wijnaldum in the title-winning season of 2019/20.


“What he said to me was not okay”

Jurgen Klopp accused referee Paul Tierney, second right, of unprofessionalism after Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

There have been enough incidents between the two for Klopp to affectionately, shall we say, give the nickname of “Mr. Tierney” to his favourite Premier League official.

Speaking after he was booked for excessive celebration during last season’s dramatic 4-3 win over Tottenham, Klopp was unhappy with comments sent in his direction by the official, the extent of which he wasn’t willing to reveal at the time.

“What he said to me was not okay,” were the manager’s words after the game.

“We have to ask Mr. Tierney what is going on.”

Klopp later insisted that that conversation had been something of a misunderstanding, but that doesn’t look to have helped smooth things over.


“We had our issues”

Andrew Robertson of Liverpool is held back by Mohamed Salah of Liverpool after being struck by linesman Constantine Hatzidakis at half time during the Premier League (Image: Andrew Yates/Sportimage Credit: Sportimage/Alamy Live News)

The manager was more pragmatic in his approach to reacting to Robertson being elbowed by Tierney’s assistant Constantine Hatzidakis during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal earlier this year.

The German kept himself out of trouble by simply saying: “I think there are some things we could talk about but they are not really helpful, and that’s why I would prefer not to talk about it.

“But we had our issues with some referees.”


Frosty relationship

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 26, 2023: Referee Paul Tierney during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The start of the feud dates back to 2017, when Dominic Solanke was unfortunate to be denied a goal by offside in a decision which Klopp described as “unlucky.”

Tierney also failed to award a penalty for a blatant foul on Sadio Mane against Newcastle back in 2020, as well as prematurely blowing the whistle for half time while the Senegalese forward was through on goal against Man United the following month.

The pair are unlikely to see eye to eye any time soon, but Tierney’s performances have seen him recently achieve a rare feat in being namechecked in a song on the Kop.

Let’s hope we don’t see much of him between now and May!