• Klopp urges Liverpool fans to celebrate Premier League title win responsibly

    Klopp urges Liverpool fans to celebrate Premier League title win responsibly

    Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool supporters to celebrate the club’s Premier League title win responsibly, as he condemned the mass gatherings seen in the city last Friday.

    In an open letter to the Liverpool Echo newspaper, the Reds boss insisted it was vital that fans “stay at home as much as possible”, promising that they will be able to “paint the city red” when the time is right and the threat of coronavirus has subsided.

    Klopp said he was dismayed by the sight of thousands of Liverpudlians gathering after their first league championship since 1990 was confirmed by Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea on Thursday night.

    Fans congregated outside Anfield in the immediate aftermath, but it was Friday night’s scenes at the Pier Head in the city centre which Klopp referenced specifically.

    He wrote: “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.

    “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.”

    The Pier Head gathering has been condemned by council officials and Merseyside Police, who confirmed that two men had been arrested, one on suspicion of assault and another on suspicion of arson after a firework struck the city’s iconic Royal Liver Buildings, causing at least £10,000 worth of damage.

    Klopp added: “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.

    “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.”

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