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Liverpool fans boo national anthem to mark King Charles’s coronation before Brentford game

Liverpool fans booed during the national anthem to mark King Charles’s coronation ahead of their side’s game against Brentford at Anfield on Saturday evening.

As was customary at all top-flight games on Saturday, Liverpool played “God Save The King” before kick-off after the Premier League “strongly suggested” that they and other home teams this weekend do so.

After emerging from the tunnel, players from both sides lined up by the centre circle to observe the anthem, however, fans were quick to voice their opposition with loud jeers heard instantly.

Anti-monarchy banners were also displayed in the stands, including one which read: “You can stick the Royal Family up your arse,” and another which said, “not my king” with King Charles III’s face obscured.

According to reports, Liverpool felt as though they had been put in an impossible position by the Premier League to play the anthem, even though it was not mandatory for them to do so.

Liverpool fans have booed the anthem on numerous occasions in the past over grievances with the government and establishment spanning decades.

In a statement released on Friday, Liverpool acknowledged that “some supporters have strong views on it” and that much was evident as even the PA announcement that the anthem would be played was met with boos.

It was hardly a surprising reaction considering fans had chanted “you can stick your coronation up your arse” during a 1-0 win against Fulham in midweek and have made no secret of their distrust and dislike of the hierarchy previously.

Relations between the city and the establishment grew worse in the 1980s when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was advised to initiate a “managed decline” of the city following the Toxteth Riots in 1981 and Liverpool fans were blamed by police for causing the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989.

Jurgen Klopp was unwilling to get dragged into the national anthem debate, insisting during his press conference on Friday that the “club’s position is my position”.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Brentford - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - May 6, 2023 Fans display an anti royal banner in the stands before the match REUTERS/Carl Recine EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Liverpool fans booed the national anthem before the game against Brentford (Photo: Reuters)

“I am from Germany, we don’t have a king or a queen,” he said. “I am 55-years-old and I have no experience of that.

“Watching from the outside, it is a nice thing to watch when all the weddings are massive things in Germany but no one really knows what it is like. It is like watching a movie. We don’t feel that.

“I am pretty sure a lot of people in this country will enjoy the coronation, some will not be interested and some will not like it. That is it and that is over the whole country. That is all I can say about it.”

Writing in i, journalist Tony Evans said that Liverpool were put in an “invidious position by the Premier League” and that they would have faced a “tsunami of criticism” for playing the anthem or choosing to ignore it.

‘”God Save The King” is anathema for a large section of the Liverpool fanbase,” he wrote.

“Not every Liverpool fan will boo. Anfield attracts royalists, Tories and people who are ambivalent about the monarchy. Yet the Premier League know that the majority inside the ground will make their voices heard in protest. Nothing the club can do will stop it.

“Except for one thing. Ignoring the coronation. Liverpool cannot do that. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The Premier League has made a right royal mess of this.”

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