Last May, a few days after the monumental 4-0 comeback win over Barcelona, this writer and a cohort of like-minded individuals from around the world traveled to the city of Liverpool in order to — on the off chance that Manchester City dropped points to Brighton — observe the Reds’ first ever Premier League title, and their first league win in nearly thirty years, and partake in what promised to be a celebration for the ages. The odds were long, but the potential reward far outweighed the financial commitment for those of us lucky enough to be able to weigh those sorts of things.
Three weeks ago, that ambition should have been satisfied, with the Premier League set to end on May 17th and the chance of the Reds missing out on their long-awaited title win infinitesimally small. Airplane tickets and lodgings were booked, and livers had been prepared to buckle up for an absolute pummeling. It wasn’t to be this year either, and although in the turmoil of the culpable pandemic that is a loss barely, if even, worth a mention, it’s still fucking annoying.
With English football set to return two weeks from now — and assuming that whole ordeal goes to plan — Jürgen Klopp and his charges will be crowned Premier League champions sometime in July. Sensibly, there will be no parade through the streets of Liverpool the following Tuesday, no opportunity for hundreds of thousands of fans to congregate around their heroes as the players reap the adulation their hard work has earned them.
That doesn’t mean that there never will be, however.
“There comes a day when life will get back to normal,” Jürgen Klopp told Sky Deutschland. “When someone has found the vaccine, when someone has found a solution to the problem, when infection rates are zero or below - that day will come eventually.
“Then we have the right to celebrate what we want to celebrate on that day,” he continued. “If this is the 12th or 13th matchday of next season and we want to celebrate it - who is going to stop it?
“Then we still have the trophy and then we can drive it around town and stand on the bus. If other people think that we are completely crazy, I honestly don’t care.
“Can it then still be a special celebration? No question. It’s different, but different is sometimes absolutely OK.”
It is the sort of straightforward, optimistic realism that marks nearly every statement from the Liverpool manager, and one hopes he is entirely correct in his assertions. One day soon, the Reds will be crowned champions. One day, hopefully as quickly as possible, the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end. And at some point after those two events, we will get to celebrate, together.