Leeds United managing director Angus Kinnear aims dig at Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

​LEEDS UNITED managing director Angus Kinnear has issued a thinly-veiled dig in the direction of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp following the Football Association's decision to uphold Pascal Struijk's dismissal in the recent game with the Reds at Elland Road.

Angus Kinnear.
Angus Kinnear.

The United defender was dismissed in an incident which saw visiting player Harvey Elliott suffer a broken ankle, although the replays showed that the home player won the ball.

Referee Craig Pawson initially let the game continue, only for strong protestations from Liverpool player Mo Salah and the visiting bench.

During a lengthy break while Elliott was treated by medical staff, Klopp appeared to go onto the pitch and speak to Pawson, with the official later issuing a red card.

Leeds elected to appeal, but the Football Association upheld the decision with a majority verdict of two to one upholding the ban and produced the written reasons as to why.

Elliott, who underwent a successful ankle operation, absolved Struijk of blame in an Instagram post.

"[It] wasn't his fault whatsoever," the Liverpool midfielder wrote.

"Neither was it a red card just a freak accident but these things happen in football."

Writing in his programme notes ahead of Leeds's game with West Ham, Kinnear said: "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 on 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."