Fans and media criticise police idea of Liverpool games at neutral venues

Police have proposed that Liverpool should play their home games at neutral grounds when the Premier League returns next month, to avoid crowds gathering outside Anfield.

The suggestion has been met with annoyance and dismay in several quarters, with fans questioning why they are being particularly singled out once more.

A report in the Times late on Thursday suggested that the Reds had been asked to play at neutral venues in “any Liverpool home game in which they could win the title and [for] matches away to Everton and Manchester City.”

That has now been further clarified by the Mail‘s Ian Herbert, who reports that six specific Premier League fixtures have been identified as high-risk by the police and will need to be played at neutral venues.

The six in question are Manchester City v Liverpool, Manchester City v Newcastle, Manchester United v Sheffield United, Newcastle v Liverpool, Everton v Liverpool and whichever game can see the Reds crowned champions.

Further discussions around other matches are still being had, as well as discussions with police forces around different areas of the country who must state if they are willing to host and patrol the games played in neutral venues.

Journalists and fans made reference to football fans being unfairly singled out once more, given some members of the public who have been congregating elsewhere.

It was also noted that fans have not been standing outside stadiums in Germany, where football has already restarted.

After so many discussions and complaints from other teams about maintaining the integrity of the competition, unfair advantages and every other problem they have had, it seems laughable that now they would be largely fine with Liverpool being one of a handful of sides having to play in neutral venues while others return to normal.

David Lynch of the Evening Standard suggested the Reds would reject the suggestion that they have to play key games away from Anfield.

Outside the ongoing discussion of Premier League matches, dates have now been set for the remaining FA Cup ties.

The ties will provisionally be played over 27-28 June for the quarter-finals, 11-12 July for the semis and Saturday 1 August for the final.

Liverpool won’t be involved, after losing at Chelsea in March, but they could be dates when the Reds don’t have a league match of their own, depending on the cup draw and how the restart progresses.