Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool fans to “do what is right” following scenes of mass celebrations at Pier Head following the club’s first Premier League title win.
Andy Cooke, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, said on social media that 15 people were arrested on Friday night, and that officers were “subjected to a number of violent confrontations” as Liverpool fans gathered in large numbers to celebrate their first league title in 30 years. A joint statement by the club, police, council and a fans’ group called the gatherings “wholly unacceptable”.
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Klopp wrote an open letter in the Liverpool Echo to fans on Monday to thank them for their support, saying “this is our moment”, but pleaded with supporters to celebrate “in a safe way and in private settings”.
“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,” Klopp wrote.
“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. 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.”
The 53-year-old also made mention of the importance of Liverpool’s rivalry with Everton, and paid tribute to two legends of Anfield.
“Sir Kenny Dalglish is the soul of this club,” Klopp said. “His understanding of what Liverpool is and what it means to the people is vital to everything that we do.
“Steven Gerrard is the legs. He carried the club in so many ways as a player and there is no one who deserves this title more than he does.”
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Klopp: PL title not final destination; history no burden
After he was appointed manager in 2015, Klopp told his squad they must create their own history, and on Friday morning he told Sky Sports News that Liverpool’s trophy-laden past is no longer a “burden” for his players.
“The history is no burden anymore,” he said. “The history is now our wonderful background, it’s the basis for what we are doing.
“When I came in we had to say, don’t compare us anymore with the fantastic people who played for this club and won everything in the past. We needed to get the opportunity from our supporters to find our own way.
“This was only possible because nobody lost patience with us in any moment.
“Football management is a nice job but a difficult one as well, we cannot really ask for time. We have to deliver immediately. People have to see the steps we make; [Liverpool fans] saw them because they wanted to see them. This story was possible then.”
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