The title seemed within reach: Liverpool FC had two victories for the first championship since 1990. But now the corona virus threatens to destroy all hopes.
“If I said everything I could think of, I would look like the worst loser in the world.” Jürgen Klopp said this sentence almost six weeks ago. His team, Liverpool FC, had just failed at Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 of the Champions League.
From the dream of defending the title in the premier class, the most important cup of European club football. But this bankruptcy would be bearable. Because for the fans of the club this season should primarily be about winning the championship title – it would be the first in 30 years.
Photo series with 45 pictures
It is impossible to imagine what would have happened in the English port metropolis and workers’ city if the Premier League had been won. After the success in the premier class and the previous years of sporty mediocrity. For years, fans have been craving to win the national league. And this season you’re so close to it. But now, due to the pandemic, there is great fear among fans that the title will not be won.
The weekend before the Champions League knockout. the Premier League leaders had a good laugh. Liverpool defeated AFC Bournemouth 2-1. With the win, the Reds temporarily extended their lead to 25 points. In a world without a pandemic, the Klopp eleven would have been English champions for a few weeks now. “In Klopp we trust”, the mantra of the Liverpool fans – it could have been the culmination of an already magical relationship between the fans of the “Reds” and the ex-BVB coach.
The worst case scenario is possible
In the current situation, the team and fans now have to be patient. According to media reports, a restart of the Premier League is planned for June 8. “We hope and fear that the championship can still be booked any day of the year,” said the chairman of the Liverpool fan club “German Reds” of the “Sport Show”.
But the worst case scenario is still possible. Because how and whether the season will be played in England is still completely open. The final decision to cancel or continue playing lies with politics.
The worst-case scenario for Klopp and his team would be a demolition – without a champion being chosen. This has already happened in Belgium and the Netherlands. According to the English newspaper “Mirror”, 14 out of 20 Premier League clubs would also have to vote for a rule change that could even allow a champion to be chosen before completing all 38 league games.
What would a title be worth?
Liverpool striker Sadio Mané would accept a season break. “In this situation – whatever happens, I would understand,” said the Senegalese in early April. And coach Klopp also commented on it. “We cannot and we will not force this,” he said of a restart of the Premier League, noting that the British government’s instructions would be relied on.
But even if the season could still be played and the title went to Liverpool: what would such a title be worth? With almost certainty, Klopp and Co. would celebrate the title in an empty stadium. A horror scenario. Because celebrating a title involves more than ending the league in first place in a table.
Let the emotions run wild, hug your teammates, cheer the fans, sing and celebrate with them: none of this will happen to the Liverpool players at this stage. The same applies to the followers who were looking forward to the title so much.
Celebrating a historic triumph like a championship after 30 years in a quiet room instead of cheering it on with friends on the street, in the bars or in the gardens seems grotesque. The core of the title would be stripped of its purpose. It would be the tragic end of an outstanding Liverpool season.