MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

“No argument” over Klopp’s remarks – but fans’ group have “deep-rooted” Anfield concerns

Jurgen Klopp has triggered widespread debate over Anfield’s atmosphere, and Liverpool supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly have “no argument” with the manager bringing it to light.

Since the draw against Man United, Anfield’s atmosphere has been in the spotlight, and was only thrust further into the headlines after Klopp made a point about it after the win over West Ham.

The manager suggested to “give your ticket to somebody else” if positively contributing to the atmosphere was not on the agenda following an altercation with fans in the Lower Main Stand.

It is not that simple, and fans have since spoken out about the problem with that particular piece of advice from Klopp.

And while Spirit of Shankly have no issue with the manager’s words, they have highlighted the “deep-rooted worries” with the current ticket situation in a recent statement over the atmosphere. It reads:

“We have no argument with Jurgen Klopp highlighting issues around the Anfield atmosphere, or lack of it, at times. It’s something our fans discuss regularly, it is central to the club’s, and Anfield’s, identity, and something the most passionate among us are keen to protect.

“It is no accident, that opposing teams, coaches and fans speak about the ‘Anfield effect’. We all know how intimidating the crowd can make it for visiting sides, how the atmosphere can be second to none – ask Barcelona, or Dortmund or City, or Arsenal last season.

“We do have concerns though about the lack of opportunities for young supporters to go to the game, catch the bug and preserve this decades-long culture of The Kop. And deep-rooted worries that our culture is being watered down by greater corporate offerings and out-of-reach ticket prices – echoed by supporters across the Premier League.

“We are in constant dialogue with the club to explore ways we can improve the situation, get more youngsters to experience Anfield and create the best atmosphere possible. Every game.”

There is a lot of frustration over access to tickets with fans having pointed to a myriad of reasons for the declining atmosphere, from an increased number of hospitality tickets to the complicated ticket system.

The Anfield atmosphere will always be a debate and not every solution will please every fan, but there is a continued discussion to be had with the club over how it can be improved.

Spirit of Shankly maintain they are in “constant dialogue” with Liverpool over the issue as they seek any and all improvements.

What Klopp said about Anfield in full

“I thought in the first half a little bit, when the boys played really exceptional, I was not overly happy, I have to say, with the atmosphere behind me,” the manager said.

“I asked people, ‘what do you want?’. We changed a lot of things, we dominated West Ham like crazy, we missed chances.

“If I would have been in the stands, I would be on my toes – 1,000 percent. I don’t know if the Man United game was that bad that we have to say, ‘oh, sorry we didn’t smash them’.

“We need Anfield on Saturday. Without Anfield I would say, they didn’t play this week, they prepare for this game and they will be prepared.

“We need Anfield on their toes from the first second, without me having an argument with the opposition coach or whatever. We need you from the first second.

“If you really want, if it’s too much football in December, I don’t know, sorry, we have to play as well, but if you are not in the right shape, give your ticket to somebody else.”