Jason McAteer has expressed his concern about fans meeting in Anfield to celebrate a Reds crown if the Premier League opts to stick to home grounds rather than neutral venues.
He is worried not just about the League resuming, but also revealed his fear of fans gathering when the League was still in session- after all, COVID-19 was already rampant before the League was cancelled. The former Liverpool star told, “If Liverpool had won the league in Anfield with no one within, 30,000 or so people would have appeared outside the ground to celebrate, and at the time we weren’t all aware of how bad this situation was.
“While we are already all the most informed about the virus, something may also happen. But one way to mitigate this problem will be to schedule games in friendly venues, which I can get behind.
“From a Liverpool viewpoint, fans would congregate if they were to start their games at Anfield and take the trophy over there. Police will not be willing to. We can’t lose that from a protection point of view.”
McAteer agreed that such measures are important, but added that he wishes that as little improvements as possible can be produced.
There’s been a lot of debate and conversation on where and how the restart will happen, with a major talk issue is neutral places. Brighton CEO Paul Barber expressed his resistance to the ‘Plan Restart’ initiative of the Premier League, stating he feels that England will adopt the German model by competing at home stadiums.
Barber went on to discuss what would make neutral sites better than playing on home fields. Simultaneously, McAteer suggests a return to playing at stadiums like Anfield might contribute to large crowds.
“Right before the lockout, my fear regarding Liverpool coming so close to winning the championship mathematically was that crowds might have grown up outside Anfield, particularly if the league had ended in empty stadiums.” McAteer said. “Thirty years everybody has been hoping for this day, everybody was on a high and no one wanted to skip it all. A ton of people must have gone out in the streets to celebrate.”