May 27, 2024

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Liverpool: Why playing the national anthem at Anfield to mark King Charles' coronation could be a problem

Liverpool: Why playing the national anthem at Anfield to mark King Charles’ coronation could be a problem


Liverpool have confirmed they will play “God Save the King” ahead of their game against Brentford on Saturday out of respect for the coronation of King Charles III, although the club admitted many fans had “strong opinions” on the issue.

Liverpool fans have a history of booing the national anthem, most recently doing so before last season’s FA Cup final at Wembley – as many booed Prince William when he appeared on the pitch.

The decision comes after Premier League application That the national anthem be played before every game this weekend to commemorate the coronation of the king and queen, which takes place on Saturday.

“Prior to kick-off and in recognition of the Premier League’s request for a coronation celebration, players and officials will gather around the central circle when the national anthem is played,” Liverpool said in a statement. statement Friday.

“It is, of course, a personal choice how the Anfield players celebrate this Saturday and we know some fans have strong opinions about it.”

So why exactly do Liverpool fans have a history of booing the British national anthem? The answer has to do with the history of the city itself.

Liverpool suffered during the deindustrialization of the UK economy in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1981, appalling economic conditions, along with tensions between the police and the Afro-Caribbean community, led to nine days of rioting in the city.

In the aftermath of the unrest, Margaret Thatcher’s government spoke of an “orderly retreat” of the city.

During this decade of Conservative rule, Liverpudlians came to see themselves as outsiders, cut off from the rest of the country, and the country’s handling of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 solidified these anti-establishment sentiments.

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The booing of the national anthem at football matches when the team played at Wembley – which was frequent given Liverpool’s dominance of English football in this era – was widespread and remains so today.

Many fans had the same reaction at the Carabao Cup Final in February 2022 and at the FA Cup Final in 2012.

Booing the national anthem is a way for some of the club’s supporters to voice their opposition to the establishment, and an opportunity to do so in front of a global audience.

The monarch’s coronation on Saturday also comes at a time when the devastating effects of the acute cost of living crisis now affecting the entire UK are being felt by many.

High inflation, years of stagnant wages The sudden and sharp rise in energy prices has also pushed millions of Britons to the brink of poverty.

At the same time, the UK government is spending tens of millions of taxpayers’ money on an enchanting celebration.

Socio-economic inequality continues to irk many in the left-leaning city of Liverpool.

It is worth noting that it was Liverpool and Everton supporters who started the Fan Support Food Banks in 2015, an initiative aimed at tackling food poverty in the UK.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it was a subject he could not fully comment on.

When asked about the club’s decision to play the national anthem on Saturday, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, “The club’s position is my position.”

“This is certainly a subject on which I cannot have a valid opinion. I’m from Germany … we don’t have a king or queen or that sort of thing,” he told reporters on Friday.

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“I’m sure a lot of people in this country will enjoy the coronation, some probably won’t really be interested, some won’t like it. That’s it. It’s all over the country.”

Many Liverpool fans are afraid to observe a minute’s silence for Queen Elizabeth II after her death last year, but on that occasion only a few boos were heard.

And in an article he wrote on Friday, football journalist Dominic King suggested Liverpool fans might be singing the club’s own anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” instead of “God Save the King” on Saturday.