Jordan Henderson has finally completed a controversial move from Liverpool to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq for £12m, reuniting with former team-mate Steven Gerrard. 

Henderson formally announced his Anfield departure on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on 12 years at the club, in which time he won the Champions League and Premier League in successive seasons, along with two EFL Cups, an FA Cup, a Community Shield, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup, with all his trophies except the first EFL Cup won as captain. 

However, his long-expected move to a club owned by Saudi Arabia's Ministry for Sport - part of a government which has condemned people to death for being gay - has led to fierce criticism from Liverpool LGBT+ fans' group Kop Outs, who feel that the 33-year-old has sold out having previously spoken up in support of the community, with his new three-year contract reportedly worth around £700,000 a week. 


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Writing on Wednesday, Kop Outs tweeted: "So Henderson, what was it about the multimillion-pound contract that first drew you away from your commitment to human rights?

"Given choices he has recently made, Kop Outs doubt and question if Jordan Henderson was ever an actual ally. 

"We are deeply disappointed that he is choosing to work as part of a sportswashing operation, attempting to distract from a regime where women and LGBT+ people are oppressed, and that regularly tops the world death sentence table. 

"This regime was responsible for the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It flogs people just for advocating for others' human rights. 

"It is gobsmacking that a father of young children is moving to a regime that is set to break its promise on executing juveniles.

"Gerrard's participation in this sportswashing is particularly galling given his previous support for LA Galaxy team-mate Robbie Rogers. Any other team-mates should beware. 

"We hope that Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard don't have to personally experience the harsh reality faced by LGBT+ people and real advocates for human rights. 

"We question the decision of Liverpool to accept money from such a regime. We have long campaigned for Liverpool to resist investment from countries with poor human rights records."

Al-Ettifaq have also added Scotland international Jack Hendry and former Celtic and Lyon striker Moussa Dembele to their squad, having appointed Gerrard as manager earlier this month. 

Their league campaign begins on Monday 14 August against Al-Nassr, captained by Cristiano Ronaldo. Liverpool meanwhile start their Premier League season the day before at Chelsea.