Liverpool fans urged to stay home after crowds gather for a second night

Liverpool fans are being urged to celebrate the club’s Premier League triumph at home after crowds gathered for the second night in a row.

Pictures posted on social media appeared to show fans gathering in the city centre on Friday despite police and politicians warning them that coronavirus was still a “major risk”.

It follows supporters packing into the area around Anfield Stadium on Thursday night when the club claimed the title as the final whistle blew in the match between Chelsea and Manchester City.

Merseyside Police said it understood some people were “looking to come together” to mark the team becoming champions of England for the first time since 1990 again on Friday night, but warned fans to wait for official celebrations.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said on Twitter he was “really concerned” about the crowds on Friday night but said the council did not have the power to disperse the gathering.

He said: “I am really concerned about scenes at Pier Head tonight.

“I appreciate #LFC fans want to celebrate but please, for your own safety, and that of others, go home and celebrate at home.

“Covid-19 is still a major risk and our city has already lost far too many people to the illness.”

Mr Anderson, who described the scenes outside Anfield on Thursday as “disappointing”, told the PA news agency an official victory parade would be held once it was “really safe”.

Liverpool City Council said alternative plans were being made to mark the achievement in an “appropriate manner” at the end of the season in July.

Police have pointed out that Merseyside still has a disproportionately high number of coronavirus cases compared to other parts of the country.

Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy said: “We understand people want to celebrate Liverpool becoming Premier League champions for the first time in 30 years, and the time will come when fans can celebrate together with the team and applaud their achievement, but now is not that time.

Liverpool fans let off flares outside the Liver Building in Liverpool
Liverpool fans let off flares outside the Liver Building in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA Images)

“Please follow the advice of the players, the manager and the club by putting safety first. The club is encouraging fans to share their experiences of watching future games at home with the hashtag #LFCAtHome on social media, and we all look forward to sharing your experiences of celebrating safely.”

By the time Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over City was confirmed on Thursday night around 100 fans, many wearing facemasks, were outside the Main Stand at Anfield where they let off fireworks and waved flags.

Within an hour of the decisive match finishing, thousands of other supporters had joined them.

Liverpool fans outside Anfield
Liverpool fans celebrate outside Anfield (Martin Rickett/PA)

Police closed off Walton Breck Road as crowds gathered at the Kop end of the ground where flares were set off and some supporters climbed on roofs and railings as they sang songs and celebrated into the early hours of the morning.

Fans were seen hugging and one man stood with his arm around a cardboard cut out of manager Jurgen Klopp.

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