Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed the squad and staff of the Premier League champions “feels pain” with the city they call home.
The Reds take on Midtjylland in an empty Anfield on Tuesday night, with fans still unable to attend games amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Liverpool City Region has been placed in a ‘tier three’ lockdown by the UK Government, meaning certain restrictions are enforced across Merseyside and Halton.
Klopp understands there are more qualified people to talk about these issues, but explains the squad and staff stand in solidarity with the city.
“As management and players we know our city feels pain in this moment,” the German is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. “People better than me can explain the technicalities behind the government’s ‘tier system’ – but even without that in-depth knowledge we know that the lonely and vulnerable are isolated, lives put on hold, livelihoods impacted, wages reduced and businesses destroyed. We know in our city human beings are suffering through no fault of their own.
“I think if my job was lost, if I were struggling to pay bills, feed my family or even if I was told I cannot see a vulnerable relative or spend time with people I love, I’m not sure any football match could help me feel better? Maybe – but we must respect that people have real problems right now.
“But what is true, in the sentiment that football can help, is that we all carry a greater responsibility when we do play. Many of our supporters may have been denied the chance to do their jobs. Others, such as those heroes in the hospitals and care sector, face added danger while performing their duties to protect us all.”
Klopp is right to say that football has little importance to those who are really up against the rough at the moment, but he’s also right to say it’ll give some people a lift.
Supporters haven’t been able to attend matches for over six months – and for some people attending games, seeing friends, experiencing the event and celebrating is absolutely everything.
The world will be a much happier place when we’re all allowed to go back to doing what we love, but for now – as Liverpool fans – all we can really do is cheer the team on from home.