Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, has indicated his belief that the Merseyside derby should be held at Everton’s Goodison Park as planned.
The derby has been deemed as a “high-risk” match due to concerns over demands on police and fans gathering outside the stadium. The national football police chief, Mark Roberts, had suggested a potential move to a neutral venue to avoid further complications with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Merseyside police have ‘no objections’ to policing any matches in Liverpool during the pandemic, be it the derby or the remaining home fixtures for both the Reds and the Toffees.
Mayor Anderson told The Athletic, “We are in a better place than we were four weeks ago and we’ve been able to convey why it’s so important nobody congregates outside or near grounds. We have had the opportunity since then to speak to fans and the club have done their part and got the message across that the supporters need to stay away.
“Both clubs have made it clear, so I would have no objection to the games being played at our clubs’ home grounds.”
It has been reported that the R rate is on the rise in the north-west, and it is currently believed to be above one. Anderson dismissed any lingering worries, stating, “That is clearly a big concern, but if people abide by what we are asking them to do, the games should be all right.
“Merseyside police have made it clear they support the derby going ahead and they are the ones responsible for policing outside the ground and maintaining social distancing.”
Liverpool could win the Premier League for the first time at city-rivals Everton if Manchester City, the only side who are still mathematically competitive, suffer defeat to Arsenal on June 17.
Should City beat Arsenal, a win at Crystal Palace the following week could seal the title for the Reds.
Klopp’s side surrendered the opportunity to join Arsenal as only the second club to be crowned Premier League champions without loss in the penultimate tie before the Premier League’s suspension in March when they fell to a shock 3-0 loss at the hands of relegation-battling Watford.