The Irrational Hatred For Liverpool Is Misplaced - Be Thankful For Klopp's Reds

Social media has been full of relentless mocking of Liverpool
13:00, 30 May 2022

As Liverpool’s players fell to the turf in the French capital on Saturday night, most of England rejoiced. While the Liverpool fans were pepper-sprayed and abused, trapped in dangerous swells outside the inexplicably closed turnstiles, online critics rushed to blame them for the suffering. 

What has transpired in the aftermath firmly puts the blame on the French authorities and UEFA. Police vans forced fans into bottlenecks, turnstiles were closed when fans with valid tickets attempted to get through and videos have emerged of French police pepper-spraying calm fans, who were simply trying to access the stadium.

Security prevented media outlets from filming and forced journalists to delete files, while the narrative UEFA pushed inside the ground was that fans had tried to access the stadium with fake tickets. Videos of locals sneaking through turnstiles or jumping over fences are commonplace and it appears that the majority of Liverpool fans were incredibly well-behaved, even in the face of adversity. 

Yet, social media was a cesspit of blame, as the hatred for Liverpool and their fans overwhelmed any common sense or humanity. The replies to this article will likely be full of the same sort of comments. 

Football rivalry is understandable. It's completely normal that Manchester United or Everton fans didn’t want Liverpool to win the quadruple, or the Champions League. But the irrational hatred for scousers from the wider footballing public, and society in general, is bizarre. 

On the week of the anniversary of the Heysel tragedy, that piece of history cannot and should not be forgotten, but 37 years on - those currently associated with the club have little to no connection with those events. This is a club that has been through tragedy of its own, with Hillsborough, and perhaps both of these events - especially the way Hillsborough was initially reported, has impacted public opinion of the Reds.

On Sunday, Liverpool fans turned out in their numbers to hold a parade in the city after their successful season saw them win the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup. Admirably, thousands lined the streets, the night after Champions League heartbreak to show support for their team. 

Yet, online they were relentlessly mocked by fans with no understanding of loyalty or support. Winning both domestic cups is a brilliant achievement, not to mention their run to the UCL final and the drama of the Premier League final day, but the celebration police were out in full force. Apparently you aren’t allowed to celebrate two domestic trophies and a Champions League final appearance.

The final day of the Premier League saw similar scenes. Most of the population outside of the red half of Merseyside wanted Manchester City to win the title. That’s City, the club that have spent over £1bn and are owned by a sportswashing state. Owner Sheikh Mansour has met with Syrian president and ally of Vladimir Putin Bashar al-Assad in recent months, but it's far more important that the Reds don’t win the Premier League - right? 

Chelsea, who were owned by a friend of Putin, Roman Abramovich, spent similar amounts to muscle their way to success. Still they were backed over Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final. Football’s moral compass has never been so askew. 

Liverpool’s owners FSG are far from perfect but they haven’t committed any war crimes. Instead, without spending huge amounts, they’ve put together one of the finest teams to watch in world football. Jurgen Klopp is a lovable manager, one of the best in the world, and he has got his side playing intense, exciting football and winning games at will. It is his vision that has been transformed into a reality and the German has taken this club back to the top of European football.

The Reds will continue to be relentlessly mocked at every opportunity. They have only won one Premier League title in the last five years - but if it wasn’t for them, the Premier League would have been more of a procession for Man City than the Bundesliga is for Bayern Munich. 

They are the only side that has made England’s top flight competitive in the last five years, and they’ve done so without being backed by blood money. So in an era of online toxicity, it's time to take a step back. 

Liverpool aren’t the media darlings, but with six European Cups to their name, this is a club with a rich history and phenomenal fans. It’s time they were appreciated rather than scorned.

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