Liverpool have confirmed they will play the national anthem ahead of Saturday’s game against Brentford, but have reluctantly made the decision.
There has been a lot of attention for the club since the Premier League contacted its members last week and advised them to mark the coronation by playing God protect the king; there was no directive from the governing body that this was mandatory.
Liverpool considered not doing what other clubs would do and they endured a week where stakeholders made it clear they did not want this; there was also a small group of fans chanting ‘you can stick your coronation up your ass’ during Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Fulham.
However, the club was aware not to play God protect the king would in all likelihood see them subjected to a nationwide backlash. Therefore, players and officials gather around the center circle for kick-off when the national anthem is played.
What happens then remains to be seen. Many critics assume Liverpool fans will boo or sing, others believe there will be a spontaneous chorus of the club’s anthem. You are never alone as it used to be before the cup final.
Liverpool play God Save the King ahead of their Premier League game against Brentford on Saturday despite fears fans could boo
Sections of Liverpool fans have booed the anthem in the past, although a minute’s silence at Anfield to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II was generally well observed
Premier League clubs have been asked to play God Save the King in honor of King Charles III’s coronation this Saturday
However, it has not been thought that there will actually be fans in the stadium who want to participate.
Liverpool don’t want to be in a position where they don’t respect anyone and for that reason they will go with any other Premier League club.
Privately, there is anger within Anfield towards the Premier League.
Liverpool had planned the game against Brentford as an opportunity to celebrate the start of Eurovision week in the city and to raise awareness of the event.
Liverpool would also tie their Foundation Day, marking 20 years of charity work in the city.
Last season, for example, more than 80,000 children and families in need in the area benefited from his work and the club wanted to shine a light on that.
But it is now that what happens with the national anthem will dominate the broader focus.
Liverpool players observe a minute’s silence following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September last year
DOMINIC KING: Why Liverpool fans are likely to sing their own anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone – and not God Save the King – on Premier League coronation weekend
The King and Queen visited Liverpool last week. A trip to the M&S Bank Arena, where the Eurovision Song Contest takes place later this month, and then to the large Central Library.
Everything, unsurprisingly, passed without incident. People in this city take pride in displaying all the good things about their home, especially when members of the royal family come to visit. The respect is mutual, the feelings are warm.
There will be plenty in attendance across Liverpool this weekend to watch the pomp and ceremony of the coronation and celebrate the official start of the New Carolean era. The point needs to be emphasized because not everyone would believe this to be the case.
When Mail Sport broke a story on Saturday that the Premier League had asked their clubs to play the national anthem ahead of this weekend’s games, the first thing many wondered was: what will happen at Anfield?
Will there be cheers? Will there be widespread disagreement? Never mind that there may be anti-royal sentiment in other parts of the country, the eye was immediately on Liverpool. It was the same when the Queen died last September.
How will they react?
King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, recently visited Liverpool ahead of EuroVision
First of all, it must be said that the Premier League has again abdicated responsibility. This is their mess. If they were serious about honoring the coronation, they would have made Saturday a clear day and moved all games to Friday, Sunday and Monday.
Do not listen to their jokes about schedules and difficulties. They had seven months to prepare for this, they could easily have come up with something. Instead we’ve had this situation where anonymous league officials are contacting clubs ‘strongly advising’ them to play God Save the King.
What happens if Liverpool don’t do it? They cannot be fined or docked for not breaking any rules. Don’t we live in a democracy where everyone has the freedom to make their own choices within the law? Then why the push for enforced patriotism?
Those who get themselves worked up about something happening at Anfield again fail to understand the bigger picture and make a lazy assumption that there has always been ill will towards the royal family on Merseyside.
Not so. Let’s turn back the clock to one of Liverpool’s greatest and most important days, when their captain, Ron Yeats, climbed Wembley’s 39 steps to a booming soundtrack after just beating Leeds in May 1965 to win the FA Cup for the first time. had won.
The Duke of Edinburgh meets members of the Liverpool team ahead of the game against Leeds
The traveling Kop was delighted and had seen that the guest of honor – who was about to hand over the trophy – was beautifully dressed in a chic coat in their team’s colours. Instinctively this was recognized.
“The Queen Wears Red!” they bellowed, claiming that Her Majesty was one of them. ‘The Queen wears red! Ee-ay-adio, the queen wears red!’
However, things have changed and that light touch of humor will never be repeated. But to be clear, the anthem jeers you’ve heard at Wembley in recent years have never had anything to do with personal attacks on individuals within the monarchy.
When the Queen died, 54,000 people fell silent for Liverpool’s first post-event against Ajax in the Champions League, and all but an idiot wanted to peacefully honor the life of a remarkable woman.
So why rave about singing God Save the King for Brentford’s visit now?
It all has to do with the establishment. Liverpool, a multicultural metropolis with huge Gaelic ties, is now thriving and bustling, but it will never be forgotten that Margaret Thatcher was advised by Sir Geoffrey Howe to ‘manage the decay’ and let it rot after the 1981 Toxteth riots.
Anger towards the government and royal family stems from reaction to the Toxteth riots
None of this was the Queen’s fault, but Her Majesty’s Government and Her Majesty’s Police were complicit in spreading lies and covering up the truth about the unforgivable events in Hillsborough in April 1989, when 97 fans illegally were murdered.
Then don’t you wonder why one should be reluctant to sing the national anthem? An anthem that is a chorus in football synonymous with crass English fans smearing it between war songs for internationals in European cities.
Liverpool and Everton fans have never been able to identify with such behavior and yes they see themselves as taking a different view of situations to the rest of the country, but is that really a bad thing?
What’s bad is the spotlight that Liverpool, as a club and as a city, have thrust into the limelight via a rehash of the Premier League, leaving critics of the club and the city watching and waiting to get angry like God Save the King has not been extinguished with the enthusiasm of the last night of the Proms.
How many people outside of Liverpool have really tried to understand all this? In this observer’s experience the answer would be ‘not very much at all’ and I am reminded of a conversation with a Manchester City official after the Community Shield at Wembley in 2019.
Liverpool fans have been thrust into the limelight, with critics waiting to get angry if God Save the King isn’t berated at Anfield
He couldn’t accept that the jeers had nothing to do with Prince William being in the stadium, it was all about venting in the establishment. He would not listen to the reasons why there are complaints and would not consider any other point of view.
This neatly brings us to where we are now. Liverpool, a club that has always placed the utmost value on respect and doing things right, will be slandered by people if they don’t fall in line, but then attacked if they play it and booed.
This has become unnecessarily complex. My own educated guess is that Liverpool will play God Save the King for the clash with Brentford, but that the stadium will eventually sing the one anthem it really believes in: You’ll Never Walk Alone. And maybe now you know why.