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FA dismiss Shrewsbury Town case against Liverpool for not fielding strongest side in FA Cup replay

The Football Association have dismissed Shrewsbury Town's case against Premier League leaders Liverpool for not fielding their strongest team, four months after the complaint was made.

Jurgen Klopp stated immediately after Shrewsbury's 2-2 draw against Liverpool in the FA Cup that he nor his first-team squad would be present for the Anfield replay
Jurgen Klopp stated immediately after Shrewsbury's 2-2 draw against Liverpool in the FA Cup that he nor his first-team squad would be present for the Anfield replay

Town claim that Jurgen Klopp's decision to not attend the fourth-round replay or field first-team players, after Shrews had a mounted a stunning two-goal comeback in the first tie, "ruined" the occasion for the League One club.

In an open letter to fans, chief executive Brian Caldwell revealed Shrewsbury lodged a complaint against the European champions for breaking FA Cup rules in not fielding their strongest team, arguing Town missed out on television revenue due to a decision not to air the replay, which Salop believe was as a result of Klopp and his players' omission.

The midweek sold-out Anfield replay, backed by 8,000 travelling Town fans, was scheduled amid a newly-introduced Premier League mid-season break where Klopp had already made plans to jet his squad away for a sabbatical.

And the case has finally been heard by the governing body, who have ruled Liverpool in the clear.

Caldwell wrote: 'Immediately following the (initial) match, the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ruined what should have been a wonderful moment for our Club by making public statements that he and all of his first-team would not attend the replay at Anfield, effectively ruining what should have been not just financially but for the players and fans a wonderful achievement and a very special occasion.

'We struggled to believe that his statements had no effect on the replay being televised and we are convinced that LFC broke the FA Cup rules by not ‘fielding their strongest team’ in the return fixture which had a knock-on effect of STFC not getting anywhere near the financial rewards that were to be expected from an FA Cup Fourth Round replay including a potential live TV fee against the World & European Champions and Premier League Champions (elect).

'In February we put a complaint in to the FA about the alleged rule breach but unfortunately and quite unexpectedly we were informed that this was dismissed last week (four months on).

'This without doubt resulted in a much lesser occasion for our players and fans as well as the financial reward that would have been expected from LFC playing their strongest team and abiding by the FA Cup rules.'

Sam Ricketts' Shrewsbury lost the replay against a highly inexperienced Liverpool team 1-0.

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