Jurgen Klopp has criticised Liverpool fans for their huge celebrations around the city last week following the club’s Premier League title triumph.
Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night confirmed the Reds as champions again after a thirty-year wait, and it seemed inevitable that this memorable victory would lead to huge celebrations despite the coronavirus pandemic.
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Still, Klopp was not happy with the scenes around Anfield and other parts of Liverpool, and sent a firm but fair plea to supporters in an open letter in the Liverpool Echo.
The German tactician reminded everyone of their duty to keep up the good work that’s been done to bring cases of COVID-19 down in this country, with cases a long way down from what they were at the peak in April thanks to social distancing measures put into place.
Large gatherings like the ones we witnessed last Thursday night could be precisely the kind of conditions in which the virus thrives again, and so Klopp is right to stress the importance of keeping celebrations private for the time being.
Klopp said: “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.
“Bruno Fernandes told me that, as a kid, he had a poster of me. He said that when he played Football Manager he always signed me. I was like, ‘You had me on a poster? And, seriously, you sign me for FM?’ I mean, how weird is that?” – Who said this? Click here to read more.
“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.”