Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has sent a brutal warning to Jordan Henderson ahead of his money-spinning move to Saudi Arabia. The pundit insists the midfielder’s views on LGBT rights will now come back to bite him.
Saudi Pro League club Al Ettifaq have agreed a £12million fee to sign Henderson. The England star will reportedly earn a staggering £700,000 a week if he completes a move.
However, the 33-year-old has faced strong criticism ahead of the impending transfer. Henderson has been vocal in his support of the LGBT community in football.
But he now looks set to play in a country that criminalises homosexuality and is punishable by death. 3LionsPride, a fan group for LGBT England supporters, has said it is “bitterly disappointed” with Henderson.
Souness has no problem himself with Henderson leaving Liverpool at this point in his career. He says it is similar to when he left to join Sampdoria in 1986.
The Scot told talkSPORT: “Do I have a problem with it? Well, no. I mean, I did exactly that. I went off to play in Italy when I was 31, you know, feeling I’d done all I could have done there. And I went for the dosh.
“I think when you come to the end of your career and you can get a pay day like these boys can get now by going out to Saudi Arabia, I think for the majority of them, they would take that. For some people, it wouldn’t be on.”
However, Souness has sent a brutal message to Henderson that people will “never forget” that a vocal supporter of LGBT groups in football chose to play in a country which deems homosexuality illegal. He added: “I think where Jordan runs into trouble is with his pronouncements in terms of supporting LGBTQ+ cause and also supporting the Rainbow Laces cause in such a very outspoken way and then to be taking the money. I think that’s where he’s going to get criticism.
“He’d have thought about that, I’m sure. These boys don’t go to the loo without consulting someone. He will have had advisers and I would imagine it would be down to him ultimately and he’s decided to go for it.
“In terms of the money, the money they can offer is incredible. In football, you have a lot of life to live after playing football. So in that respect, he’s made the right decision for both himself and his family.
“But it’s just his statements prior to and during the last World Cup and being very supportive of these causes and that will come back and bite him. People will never forget that.”