Liverpool fans are being warned to stay at home to watch their team lifting the Premier League trophy.
The club will play Chelsea on Wednesday night in their final home game of the season and will lift the trophy after the match, in front of an empty stadium.
Thousands of fans celebrated outside Anfield last month when the team’s first top-flight title in 30 years was confirmed and huge numbers gathered at the city’s Pier Head the following night, where police reported violent confrontations.
Assistant Chief Constable Natalie Perischine, from Merseyside Police, said: “On this occasion, the best seat in the house is in your living room. There is simply no benefit to going to the ground and we as a city cannot afford for people to gather in large numbers.
“We are all still in unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the last thing anyone wants is a resurgence of cases in Merseyside, with every life lost a tragedy.”
JOINT STATEMENT | We're working with @LFC @lpoolcouncil and @spiritofshankly ahead of this week's game with Chelsea. We're asking fans to watch the game and presentation at home, to keep themselves, their families, friends and neighbours safe. More here 👇https://t.co/l3SAbgVG78 pic.twitter.com/qRB3RqZo6S— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) July 20, 2020
The force has been working with Liverpool FC, the city council and supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly ahead of the match.
Peter Moore, the club’s chief executive, said: “We know that winning the Premier League is bringing joy to fans during these challenging times but it’s critical that we all get behind the city’s public health advice to keep Liverpool safe.
“The Premier League trophy presentation will be happening inside the stadium and, contrary to reports, nothing is happening outside of the stadium.
“When the time is right, we will all come together to celebrate but, for now, we are asking fans to keep themselves and their families safe by celebrating at home.”
Matt Ashton, director of public health at Liverpool City Council, said: “The threat of a second lockdown is very real.
“Fortunately the trophy ceremony is free to watch on TV.
“Hopefully the city will be able to mark this achievement more publicly in the near future.
“Until then, avoid any big crowds and enjoy the Reds being crowned Premier League champions.”
Ms Perischine said officers would be on duty around the ground during the match and additional measures, including road management and dispersal orders, could be introduced if needed.
Joe Blott, chairman of Spirit of Shankly, said: “I desperately want to see the trophy lift and I understand how hard and frustrating it is to stay away from Anfield but I also know it is one of the most deprived areas in Europe with significant health inequalities.
“The overwhelming majority of fans have so far heeded public health advice and I hope supporters will continue to stay at home and not put themselves or others at risk unnecessarily.”