Jurgen Klopp has stressed that almost nobody in football is amused by pitch invasions after a spate of encroachments culminated in an injury to Adrian.
The ‘keeper is a doubt for our game against Southampton after a fan who burst onto the field to join in the post-Super Cup celebrations on Wednesday night hurt his ankle with a tackle.
The incident follows individual pitch invasions in the Community Shield and last week against Norwich, both of which brought play to a halt.
Klopp says he prefers supporters to be close to action but suggested that nearby fans should intervene if they see someone looking to run onto the field.
“There is no doubt about how much we love our fans but if they could all stop doing that, because that’s the worst example I have heard about,” he said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by The Guardian.
“It happened against Manchester City in the Community Shield when someone was running on the pitch and against Norwich someone ran on the pitch.
“I like that we don’t have fences but that means a lot of responsibility for supporters. If one supporter cannot hesitate or stop himself, then supporters around him should do it.”
The boss hinted at a need for greater action, warning that, as Adrian’s injury has demonstrated, players could be at risk.
“We have the Adrián incident which is serious for us but if you ask anyone involved in football if you find it funny that someone runs on the pitch, pants down, half-naked, no one would say, ‘Oh yes, that is really nice’. You never know who it is there,” he said.
“Before the season at the Premier League meeting they told us not to get involved but we are all human beings and if they get close you do not know the person and for us it is not funny. It is still happening. It looks like it is happening a bit more often.”
This issue has received plenty of press of late, most notably in March when Jack Grealish, Chris Smalling and James Tavernier were all confronted, or in the case of Grealish attacked, by spectators in three separate games over the same weekend.
We can only hope the actions of a handful of individuals do not ultimately impinge on the enjoyment of the match-going masses.