It has been claimed that football could again be played behind closed doors due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, which has come as miserable news to Liverpool fans.
Monday brought the news that Premier League clubs were unable to agree on a proposal to postpone a round of fixtures and relieve the pressure due to a number of positive tests.
But with the calendar to go ahead as planned, Jurgen Klopp will be required to shuffle his squad, including the use of academy players, while hoping no further tests return positive.
Nevertheless, while the Premier League will forge on, the Times‘ Henry Winter has speculated that upcoming restrictions could see games played behind closed doors again.
Behind closed doors sadly looking increasingly likely even with @premierleague clubs determined to play on over festive period… Decision could be taken out of clubs' hands by Government. https://t.co/mV5ksDDI2L
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) December 20, 2021
The final month of the 2019/20 campaign, which saw the Reds win the Premier League, was played with no fans in stadia in England, along with almost all of last season.
Its impact on the spectacle of football was clear, with players regularly commenting on their lack of enjoyment at playing in front of empty stands.
And those in Wales have to go through the experience once more after the Welsh government banned spectators from sports events from December 26, with no confirmed end date.
While it may be an inevitability for the Premier League as the UK government weighs up the prospect of another lockdown due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it is certainly not a popular idea among fans.
Here’s how Liverpool supporters reacted to the news on social media.
Unsurprisingly, most were left frustrated…
I’d rather have the league postponed than playing behind closed doors IMO. Football without fans is nothing.
— Samue (@SamueILFC) December 20, 2021
I think I’d honestly rather there be no footy happening than have it behind closed doors, it just seems so sterile and meaningless in empty stadiums.
— Legacy Fan ????? (@ianyoungkop) December 20, 2021
Behind closed doors football is coming back? pic.twitter.com/nX9bOQKfbs
— ?????,x (@__LjX_) December 20, 2021
I’d rather we just halted the season than played behind closed doors.
It’s a cliché but we’ve seen this season that football really is nothing without fans. No one wants to watch a glorified training match completely devoid of any soul. Ugh. https://t.co/VVtOsTW6aG
— Laurie (@LFCLaurie) December 20, 2021
The players are literally testing positive forget behind closed doors just suspend the whole thing https://t.co/lTc5ZG4f58
— josh (@ctrfootbalI) December 20, 2021
Behind closed doors games again? pic.twitter.com/ChxIBz0P1O
— G (@g_wilko87) December 20, 2021
Genuinely stop football until fans are back. Behind closed doors is horrible it makes me so demotivated to watch and enjoy it https://t.co/7529FbgN1K
— Archie (@ArchiieLFC) December 20, 2021
Rather have no footy then footy behind closed doors
— Ben (@SMXLFC) December 20, 2021
However, others reluctantly accepted it…
Football behind closed doors is depressing BUT I’d rather football > no football.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) December 20, 2021
Behind closed doors is better than no football at all imo, so many people need football to stay happy and to cope. I just hope the fans will come back asap if the rumours are true
— Dylan (@Dylan_LFC99) December 20, 2021
I’m sorry but you’re stupid if you’d rather just have no football than football behind closed doors https://t.co/QvD1eEM5pX
— K. ?? (@Sakadinhooo_) December 20, 2021
It is impossible to escape the feeling that behind-closed-doors football is not the sport we love, but the debate over a suspension of fixtures or a restriction on attendance is a difficult one.
If it comes to it, would the Premier League be better off taking another break or pushing ahead without supporters?