The Premier League has suspended all matches until April for the time being, in order to aid in stopping the spread of coronavirus. It is an extreme response but, in the face of a global pandemic with dire consequences for many people, it is the appropriate response.
Football fans will likely have a lot to wonder about as this specific disruption goes. Questions about the results for this season are already being bandied about. It is a time of deep uncertainty.
Liverpool fans are especially thrown into a bit of angst at present. Swinging between gallows humor and earnest gloom, the state of the fandom is not one that most might consider well.
As such, Jurgen Klopp has taken it upon himself to address the fans on behalf of the entire team during this strange moment. The full statement is available on the official site, but I wanted to provide you with the opening few pieces as it is what helped me most in this moment.
“ I don’t think this is a moment where the thoughts of a football manager should be important, but I understand for our supporters they will want to hear from the team and I will front that. First and foremost, all of us have to do whatever 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.”
It helps because it reminds us that these measures, as discomforting as they are, are a response not for ourselves as individuals necessarily, but for the greater good of everyone else. For people who are most vulnerable. For the people in our local community.
Klopp goes on to say many things in the ways only he can, but the last piece that stood out to me is this:
“The message from the team to our supporters is only about your well-being. Put your health first. Don’t take any risk. Think about the vulnerable in our society and act where possible with compassion for them. Please look after yourselves and look out for each other.”
I don’t want to claim to speak for everyone here at TLO, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to claim that we feel similarly. Please take care of yourselves and each other, friends. Now, more than ever, the concept of solidarity - the bedrock of You’ll Never Walk Alone - is needed. Let’s live that out.