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Mayor of Liverpool Issues Anfield Warning about Premier League Resumption

Publish Date:30/04/2020
Fact checked by: Jordan Noble

Joe Anderson, the mayor of the city of Liverpool, has warned that issue might arise that will complicate the proposed resumption of Premier League football.

It looks likely that professional football will resume in June, with the idea of playing games behind closed doors having been mooted.

But Anderson believes that that might still cause issues and lead to crowds of people disobeying government guidelines regarding social distancing.

Anderson: Crowds will gather at Anfield

"Even if it was behind closed doors, there'd be many thousands of people who would turn up outside Anfield,” Anderson told BBC Sport.

"There's not many people who would respect what we were saying and stay away from the ground, a lot of people would come to celebrate so I think it's a non-starter."

Liverpool FC lead the Premier League by 25 points, as things stand, and looked set for their first top flight title in 30 years when football was suspended in March.

The Premier League, under the banner of ‘Project Restart’ has mooted June 8 as a likely date for the competition to be resumed.

Deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, England's national lead for football policing, has stated this week that playing the games at their original venues would cause issues for the Police and the other emergency services.

Anderson believes that even if games were played at neutral venues, as has been suggested, fans would still flock to Anfield to celebrate and soak up the atmosphere.

He highlighted how difficult it has been in the city to prevent people gathering in groups in park, and opined that it would be “farcical” if games behind closed doors went ahead, due to the risk of crowds gathering.

Anderson’s solution to the issue is to have the season end and Liverpool be declared as champions.

He believes that health and safety should be the priority of everyone, with football coming second to that.

Mourhino believes resumption will be positive

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho thinks that restarting the Premier League would be good for everyone involved in the sport.

“If we play the remaining nine matches this season it will be good for every one of us," he told Sky Sports.

"It will be good for football, for the Premier League. I’d like to think that football is never behind closed doors. With cameras it means that millions and millions are watching.

"So if one day we walk into this empty [Spurs] stadium, it will not be empty, not at all."

Mourinho is currently self-isolating at an apartment near to Spurs’ training ground, along with three of his coaching colleagues from the club.

His home is in central London, but he wanted to be close to the club because of government travel restrictions.

The Premier League clubs are set to meet on Friday May 1 to try and thrash out more details about how the season can be resumed when the sport has been given permission by the government to start up again.

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