Jurgen Klopp has written an open letter to Liverpool fans thanking them for their support—and imploring them to stop the mass gatherings in celebration for now.
The city has been filled with naturally ecstatic supporters since Thursday night, with Kopites the world over finally able to say they are champions of England again after a 30-year wait.
But some of those celebrations overstepped the mark, with the Liver Buildings set on fire, unruly scenes at Pier Head and huge volumes of litter left behind afterward.
Klopp has directly appealed to supporters to keep celebrating, but to do so in their own, smaller groups in private and to hold off for the big parade, as and when it is safe to do so.
The spread of coronavirus has shut down not just the city, but multiple countries all across the world and the global death toll has surpassed half a million.
A big part of the reason supporters are no longer in stadiums for matches is to prevent the further spread of the disease, and Klopp reiterated this in an impassioned speech in the Liverpool Echo.
Klopp discussed far more in his letter, but the central theme was regarding the safety of supporters and people of the city.
This is an incredible time for incredible supporters of an incredible club in an incredible city. For some of you, it is the end of a long wait for Liverpool to be champions, but whether you have been waiting for 30 years or 30 minutes I hope that you are enjoying this moment every bit as much as you deserve to.
I love your passion, your songs, your refusal to accept defeat, your commitment, your understanding of the game and your faith in what we are doing.
Even though you cannot be at our games at the moment I love that you still made sure that you were with us by making the Kop look like the Kop even if it cannot sound like it. I cannot begin to tell you how much the players and myself appreciated that and I have no doubt that it was one of the reasons why our performance against Crystal Palace was so good.
What I did not love – and I have to say this – was the scenes that took place at the Pier Head on Friday.
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. 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.
If things were different I would love nothing more than to celebrate together, to have a parade that would be even bigger than the one after we won the Champions League last year, so that we could all share this special moment but it just is not possible.
We have all done so much to fight COVID-19 and this effort cannot go to waste. 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.
This is not the time to be in the city centre in big numbers or to go near football grounds. At the start of this crisis I said that we did not want to play in an empty stadium but if it meant that it helped just one person stay healthy we would do it no questions asked and nothing has changed to make me alter this view.
The club, the Premier League and the City council have all guaranteed the Reds and the supporters a parade to celebrate the trophy properly, and there’s little question it will be a gathering of enormous size—anywhere from half a million to a million seems likely.
But for that to happen, there must be no second wave of coronavirus in the country—and especially in the region—which would also hamper efforts to get fans back into Anfield.
Elsewhere in Klopp’s letter, he paid special tribute to the rivalry in the city between Liverpool and Everton, the supporters of both teams and his opposite manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Klopp further spoke of his “absolute” appreciation for FSG, of Steven Gerrard and Kenny Dalglish being the “symbols” of the club and, in enormously affectionate and respectful terms, of the team he leads which has taken the Reds to the top.
The entire letter is worth reading and is another clear example of Klopp being a passionate, honest and relatable man of the people.
And his message to the people, right now, is to celebrate safely until our real moment comes.