Klopp reminds Liverpool fans of what matters most

Manager urges people to follow expert advise over the coronavirus threat

 Jurgen Klopp: “If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society it’s no contest. Really, it isn’t.” Photograph:  Byrne/PA

Jurgen Klopp: “If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society it’s no contest. Really, it isn’t.” Photograph: Byrne/PA

 

Jürgen Klopp has sent a message to Liverpool supporters in which he describes football as “the most important of the least important things” and urges people to follow expert advice over the coronavirus threat instead of regretting the suspension of the league season until April.

With every likelihood of the hiatus lasting longer than the three weeks currently planned, and Klopp’s runaway leaders with more to lose than most if their 30-year wait for a title ends up being delayed further or compromised through lack of playing time, the manager took it on himself to issue a statement reminding people of what actually matters most.

“I don’t think this is a moment where the thoughts of a football manager should be important, but I understand our supporters will want to hear from the team and I will front that,” Klopp wrote.

“First and foremost we have to do what we can to protect one another. In society, I mean. This should be the case all the time in life, but in this moment I think it matters more than ever. I’ve said before that football always seems the most important of the least important things, and today football and football matches really aren’t important at all.

“Of course we don’t want to play in front of empty stadiums and we don’t want games or competitions suspended, but if doing so helps one individual stay healthy – just one – we do it no questions asked.”

Klopp must be as disappointed as everyone else who follow the club at the turn recent events have taken. No sooner had he penned that charming letter to the 10-year-old Donegal schoolboy who wanted Liverpool to lose a few matches than the first defeats of the season arrived in a cluster, and now something entirely beyond the manager’s control has forced an interruption to an outstanding season at the worst possible time. But not only is Klopp a manager with a social conscience he does not mind putting it on display.

“If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society it’s no contest,” he wrote. “Really, it isn’t. The Premier League decision is being implemented with the motive of keeping people safe, and because of that we support it completely.

“This virus has shown that being involved in football offers no immunity. We have seen members of teams we compete against become ill, and those individuals and others who will later become affected are in our thoughts and prayers.

“None of us know what the final outcome will be but we have to have belief that the authorities make decisions based on sound judgment and morality. As manager of this team I carry a leadership responsibility with regards to out future on the pitch, but in the present moment, with so much anxiety and uncertainty, it would be wrong to speak about anything other than advising people to follow expert advice. Please look after yourselves and look after each other.”

- Guardian

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