‘Caveman’ - Full transcript as former Liverpool star Michael Owen slammed by Chris Sutton

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen and Chris Sutton were involved in a tense on-air debate.

Chris Sutton has branded former Liverpool striker Michael Owen as a ‘caveman’ following a heated debate between the two on concussion protocols in football.

The pair were both on Champions League punditry duty for Benfica’s 2-2 draw with Ajax on Wednesday evening, with a first-half clash of heads between Nicolas Otamendi and Lisandro Martinez leading to both players receiving treatment.

Martinez in particular looked to be in some distress after the incident, but played on regardless, much to Sutton’s dismay.

The ex-Blackburn Rovers forward is a vocal advocate for player welfare surrounding head injuries, and sadly lost his own father, Mike, to dementia in 2020.

What did Chris Sutton say to Michael Owen?

During BT Sport’s half-time coverage of Benfica vs Ajax, presenter Seema Jaswal asked if football needed to do more to protect players, to which Sutton replied: “Absolutely. Until IFAB step up and change the concussion protocols, they are not looking after player welfare. Player welfare isn’t put first within the game.

Advertisement

“You saw the horrible incident at the weekend when Robin Koch carried on playing after a serious head injury. Football doesn’t care. It needs to start caring.”

Owen then asked the former Celtic striker what needed to be different about football’s concussion protocols.

Sutton responded: “He needs to come off the pitch to the sanctuary of the dressing room and get checked by an independent doctor. In the mean time, you have a temporary substitute so you are not numerically disadvantaged. If the player’s okay, he can come back on. It is common sense. Why are IFAB not stepping up?”

At this point, Owen replied: “Because bumps and bangs on the head...”

But before the ex-England international could finish, Sutton cut in: “Hang on a minute, Michael, concussion is a bump and a bang? If the player’s rolling around on the floor how do you know that is not a concussion?”

Advertisement

Owen said: “If you take what you say to an extreme, every time they roll around holding their leg, they have broken their leg. Of course concussion is important, but if you had your way...”

And an angry Sutton fired back: “Michael, that is the view of a caveman. Football needs to catch up”

Jaswal then had to interrupt the duo so that the broadcast could return back to the Estadio Da Luz.