Following the disastrous handling of entrances by UEFA at the Stade de France in Paris in May for the Champions League final, Liverpool had criticized the management of the event.
CEO Billy Hogan provided updates on the independent inquiry, for which his team has been providing the information asked of them. This includes “important information around timelines from our safety, security and fan experience teams – all of whom were obviously on the ground trying to help our fans, all fans amidst the chaos inside and outside of the stadium – both on the access to the stadium and on the egress as well”.
“So over the course of the last several weeks, we spent a lot of time internally gathering that information, various reports, emails, etc.”, he said.
“They’ve all been pulled together and then ultimately that’s been submitted to the panel which, as I said at the beginning, will be a part of their inquiry process.”
Supporters were asked to submit their testimonies, photos and other evidence as well.
“We felt it was really important to gather that information ahead of the independent panel. We’re extremely pleased the panel has requested us to send that information to them. I know we’ve talked about it previously on some of these updates but just from a numbers perspective, there’s been over 8,500 fan testimonials that have been submitted to the panel and that obviously will include a part of their investigation process”, said Hogan.
“We actually received over 9,000 testimonials; however, not everybody was comfortable with those being shared with the panel.”
Going through fan testimonials, the Liverpool team noticed recurring themes like congestion, a lack of travel information, stealing of tickets by local gangs, excessive riot policing, and more, said Hogan. Some of the issues like “posting the incorrect reason for the delayed kick-off” had “echoes of the Hillsborough disaster”, he added.
The panel will be meeting with Hogan’s team in the coming days as a next step, and possibly with fans as well.