Jurgen Klopp says he will never take a full stadium ‘for granted’, though insists Liverpool’s ability to currently welcome supporters doesn’t give them a massive advantage.
The champions were one of 10 clubs who were initially allowed to welcome supporters following the end of the national lockdown earlier this month.
However, a freshly mutated variant of the coronavirus has seen that number dwindle, the highly transmissible variant spreading across the South East of England to force a reshake of England’s tier system, with clubs in Tier 3 and Tier 4 areas having to play behind closed doors.
The recent restructuring leaves just Liverpool and Everton as the only Premier League sides able to host fans at Anfield and Goodison Park respectively, though Jurgen Klopp doesn’t think it is a ‘massive advantage’, with the German expecting the Reds to once again being forced to play behind closed doors as rates across the country continue to increase.
“With the new tier system, it doesn’t look very likely that the stadium will remain open, eh? There are still bigger problems out there and, as long as the deciders allow us to bring people in, that is a really good sign,” he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of his sides home clash with West Brom today.
“The moment they say it is not possible any more, then we must wait for the next moment when it is possible again.
“As a club, it is not that we had any hand in the decision. It says something nice about the Liverpool people probably as we had early mass testing.
Jurgen Klopp runs to celebrate with the Kop
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“I am not a specialist, so I don’t know exactly how influential that was. Maybe some other clubs will speak about it and complain, but I don’t see it as a massive advantage. It’s just nicer – and that’s the truth – and I understand everybody else wants to have the same.
“If we have 2,000 fans and nobody else has even 100 or whatever, then yes I can imagine people will talk about that.
“But, from my point of view, long may it continue that we can keep people in the stadium.
“I will never ever in my life take a full stadium for granted, 100 per cent.”
With the rollout of a vaccine for Covid-19 now underway, there is hope that things can start to get back to some kind of normality at some point in 2021, and while 2020 has been a pretty crappy year for everyone, Klopp doesn’t think that being crowned champions during a global pandemic is a bad thing.
“I will remember it as a special year. People have said to me, ‘My God, you are champions in 2020 when no one could celebrate’ – but I see things the other way around.
“Could you imagine this year being like it was and not being champions? Then the year would be really rubbish.
“In a very tricky year for the world, we created highlights for our supporters, for ourselves, for our families and our friends.
“I had a lot of experiences I didn’t want in my life, but we created memories which I will never forget for good reasons.
“That’s what I want to remember from this year.
“Never before in my life, at midnight on New Year’s Eve, will I be as serious as when I wish everyone a better 2021.”