Former Liverpool star Jason McAteer claims he’s concerned about fans meeting in Anfield to celebrate a Reds crown.
If the Premier League opts to stick to home grounds rather than neutral venues, there is risk of Liverpool fans breaking self-isolation protocols to celebrate Liverpool wins in large numbers outside the stadium.
“Right before the lockout, my fear regarding Liverpool coming so close to winning the championship mathematically was that crowds might have grown up outside Anfield, particularly if the league had ended in empty stadiums.” McAteer told.
“If Liverpool had won the league in Anfield with no one within, 30,000 or so people would have appeared outside the ground to celebrate, and at the time we weren’t all aware of how bad this situation was,” he said.
There’s been a lot of debate and conversation on where and how the restart will happen, with a major talk issue is neutral places.
Brighton CEO Paul Barber expressed his resistance to the ‘Plan Restart’ initiative of the Premier League, stating he feels that England will adopt the German model by competing at home stadiums. Barber went on to discuss what would make neutral sites better than playing on home fields.
McAteer, meanwhile, suggests a return to playing at stadiums like Anfield might contribute to large crowds. Indeed, there had already been a threat of crowds gathering if the Championships had continued, with Liverpool so close to finally winning:
“Thirty years everybody has been hoping for this day, everybody was on a high and no one wanted to skip it all. A ton of people must have gone out in the streets to celebrate.
“While we are already all the most informed about the virus, something may also happen. But one way to mitigate this problem will be to schedule games in friendly venues, which I can get behind.
“From a Liverpool viewpoint, fans would congregate if they were to start their games at Anfield and take the trophy over there. Police will not be willing to. We can’t lose that from a protection point of view.”
McAteer agreed that such measures are important, but added that he wishes that as little improvements as possible can be produced.