Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher says the players - not Tom Hicks and George Gillett - were to blame for last season's problems.

The Kop was torn apart off the pitch by a power struggle that eventually saw the two Americans ­replaced by Fenway Sports Group and John W Henry (right) last October.

But Carragher told the Sunday Mirror: "The last couple of years under Hicks and Gillett were difficult.

"But, to be honest, the players have to shoulder a lot of the blame for missing out on the Champions League. The ownership issue became an easy excuse to trot out. If you look at the ­Glazers at United, they are just as unpopular with the fans. Yet United have carried on being ­successful, winning the big trophies. It hasn't affected them one bit on the pitch."

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