When Jurgen Klopp speaks, Liverpool fans around the world listen and every word he says is closely analysed.
Something that seems to be a little less scrutinised is his matchday programme notes and this provides our boss an opportunity to be more open and honest with his supporters.
Ahead of the Leicester City game, the German addressed the current COVID situation in an inspirtational passge directed at football fans and all members of society.
The 54-year-old said: ‘I always like to conclude these columns by addressing the supporters directly. I’m not someone who is often lost for words but at the moment it’s a struggle to think of the right words.
‘There is not much I can say that brings encouragement or comfort. I know each household will have its own issues to contend with at this moment.
‘There’ll be people here tonight and reading this gripped with worry about what might happen in the coming days and weeks.
‘Our supporter-base reflects society. We’ll have fans who work for the health service and are about to put themselves in harm’s way again and again for the benefit of the rest of us. Likewise other essential workers and the emergency services.
‘We’ll have fans who will be isolating this Christmas, unable to spend time with friends and loved ones. We’ll have fans frightened about the impact on their jobs and livelihoods. We’ll have fans dealing with the grief of losing loved ones. We’ll have fans with various difficulties in their lives which the current situation exacerbates and amplifies to a point it might feel at times unbearable.
‘What can I say in these circumstances that isn’t reductive or insensitive to things that really matter? I suppose it’s this: the common connection we all share is LFC. And via that link, we are family. We are a community.
‘I send you all my love and my best wishes, as part of my extended family. I send hope that things will get better and we will still be together in this amazing place more often again in the future, immediate or otherwise.
‘This time of year means different things to different people, those with certain beliefs and those with none at all. But I think what unites all of us around this period is our collective sense of community. Expressing love and care for other people. That’s what Christmas means to me. And the current situation strengthens those feelings if I’m being honest.
‘Please prioritise looking after yourselves and each other. That’s my team talk for the LFC family. The best gift you can give your community is to protect each other in times when it’s most needed. That is certainly the situation right now.
‘If it is within our ability to do so, let’s make sure we help anyone who feels like they are walking alone. All my love and best wishes’.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager has found his home on Merseyside and his addresses to the supporters are always so well worded and hit the right notes.
It’s a concern for so many fans that they may have a worrying festive period and the main release from life, going the match, could soon be taken away from them too.
As a community and the ‘LFC family’, it’s our responsibility to look after each other at this special time of the year and let’s hope we all still have the joy of watching the Reds as often as possible (maybe not twice in 48 hours though!).
You can read the full extract from Klopp’s notes in the programme, via @carlmarkham on Twitter:
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) December 22, 2021