Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool fans to ‘do the right thing’ following the exuberant celebrations within the city after the club were crowned Premier League champions last week.
Man City’s defeat to Chelsea on Thursday evening confirmed Liverpool‘s status as champions of England for the first time in 30 years, the Reds holding an unassailable 23 point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side, a result which prompted wild celebrations outside Anfield despite the public calls for fans to stay at home amid the ongoing pandemic
The following night, fans gathered at the city’s Pier Head, with videos on social media showing pyrotechnics being fired at the iconic Liver Building, which is, in part, owned by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri. There were also videos which showed public unrest and violence towards the police.
You couldn’t make it up…
Aiming fireworks and setting fire to the Liver Building because it’s lit up blue. That’s the same building that’s used for the crest on the club they’re celebrating 🤷🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/QLw6h69tfS
— Jonathan Walters (@JonWalters19) June 26, 2020
The club, Police, City Council and fan group, Spirit of Shankly, condemned the ‘wholly unacceptable’ scenes, with police being granted dispersal powers to prevent further gatherings over the weekend.
Now, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has pleaded with the club’s fans via an open letter in the Liverpool Echo to ‘do the right thing’, urging supporters not to ‘risk’ further spread of the coronavirus in the city.
“I love your passion, your songs, your refusal to accept defeat, your commitment, your understanding of the game and your faith in what we are doing,” the German wrote.
“Even though you cannot be at our games at the moment I love that you still made sure that you were with us by making the Kop look like the Kop even if it cannot sound like it. I cannot begin to tell you how much the players and myself appreciated that and I have no doubt that it was one of the reasons why our performance against Crystal Palace was so good.
“What I did not love – and I have to say this – was the scenes that took place at the Pier Head on Friday. I am a human being and your passion is also my passion but right now the most important thing is that we do not have these kind of public gatherings. We owe it to the most vulnerable in our community, to the health workers who have given so much and whom we have applauded and to the police and local authorities who help us as a club not to do this. Please – celebrate – but celebrate in a safe way and in private settings, whereby we do not risk spreading this awful disease further in our community.
“If things were different I would love nothing more than to celebrate together, to have a parade that would be even bigger than the one after we won the Champions League last year, so that we could all share this special moment but it just is not possible. We have all done so much to fight COVID-19 and this effort cannot go to waste. We owe it to ourselves and each other to do what is right and at this moment that means being together and being there for one another by being apart.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) June 25, 2020
“When the time is right we will celebrate. We will enjoy this moment and we will paint the city red. But for now, please stay at home as much as possible. This is not the time to be in the city centre in big numbers or to go near football grounds. At the start of this crisis I said that we did not want to play in an empty stadium but if it meant that it helped just one person stay healthy we would do it no questions asked and nothing has changed to make me alter this view.
“I already knew and liked the German word solidarität before I came to Liverpool and now I have learned that the English word is solidarity because I have heard it used by our supporters during the last few months. For me, it is the word more than any other that captures what Liverpool people are about. It is why they have come together to make PPE, it is why they have delivered food parcels and medicines to people when they have needed it most and it is why they come together in so many different ways during such a difficult time.
“If we can keep on coming together by being separate we will hopefully play a big part in the fight against this disease. I know that we can do this because I have experienced what a difference can be made and the players and myself have benefited from it. Hopefully in a few months from now, or longer if necessary, I can write another letter to the Liverpool Echo to thank you for putting the health of our people ahead of everything else.
“Nothing would make me prouder.
“For now, I would like to thank the supporters of Liverpool and the people of this city who have helped to make us champions. This is our moment. It is a special time in all of our lives and you are the ones who have made it possible. Each one of you is a champion in your own right and we cannot wait until we get the chance to celebrate what you have achieved.”