Good morning, good afternoon, and good night, fellow Reds. And if you’re celebrating Christmas today, last night, next month, or not at all, a wonderful—even merry—day to you, too.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp released a lengthy statement to supporters to celebrate the holiday, and every word of it is brilliant, managing to strike the exact right tone. We’ve come to expect nothing less from the gaffer, but he somehow keeps delivering.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our supporters a very peaceful and merry Christmas, however you choose to mark this period of the year,” Klopp said.
“Liverpool Football Club is a special club, one with fans, players and staff from different backgrounds and cultures, with their own individual customs and traditions, and everyone will choose to celebrate today in their own way.
“I love this. It’s something special.
“Our dressing room illustrates how wonderful it is when a mix of cultures, traditions, backgrounds and beliefs all come together as colleagues, as friends, all sharing the same collective goals. Really, it is amazing to see.”
Kloppo went on to recognize that this time of year, whether because of Christmas or the fast-approaching new year, is often a time to reflect. The manager is notoriously not thinking too much about the past, but even he has to look back at 2019 with fondness.
“I think you know me well enough by now, I am not a guy for looking back, not when there is work to do. But how can I ignore what we have all experienced in this year?
“I have just one word for it: wow.
“I am so proud of many things. Of course, firstly for everyone to have the chance to celebrate Liverpool being trophy winners once again.
“For as long as I live, I will never forget that night in Madrid and the following day in Liverpool as we brought the Champions League home. I remember I once said the city would ‘explode’ when we won a trophy, but I think I even may have underestimated it a bit. Those scenes… I cannot even think of them now without getting goose bumps.”
Honestly, there’s too much goodness to share here. But he makes one more important point: being good to each other, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.
“I also want to take a moment to highlight a few things that have made me proud off the field in this year and praise the work of those who give so much back to the community here.
“As with every year since I have been here, we recently made our annual visit to Alder Hey and I can say the work the staff do there is unbelievable. Really, it is world-class in supporting those brave children and families fighting life’s real battles.
“Again, the work of the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative continues to grow and grow with the help and dedication of both Liverpool and Everton supporters, who put football rivalry aside to do something good for those who are less fortunate.
“Of course, we have own our own charity and programmes at the club – LFC Foundation and the Red Neighbours programme – and it is important to me that we give back what we can, however we can, so I am proud to have seen them continue to grow over the course of the year.”
This charity work is, sadly, more important than ever. The social safety net in the UK (as in many other countries) has been under attack for decades, and the recent election results will surely only exacerbate that trend.
Liverpool as a city, and a club, have experienced the heartache of conservative governments whose actions (or inaction) have caused literal deaths, and will cause more, as surely as you are reading these words.
It means we have to continue to stick together. That You’ll Never Walk Alone is not just a song, or motto, but a call to action to help your fellow human beings, whether they support Liverpool or not.