Anfield might be the focus of Premier League fans next week – not for its widely admired rousing atmosphere, but for its stance on the national anthem.
The Premier League has asked its clubs to play the UK national anthem ahead of kick-offs next weekend to mark the coronation of King Charles III. The King’s coronation will take place on Saturday, May 6.
All clubs have been urged to take part in the tributes, but the decision to play “God Save the Queen” will rest with the 10 clubs who play home fixtures.
Liverpool are scheduled to host Brentford at Anfield on May 6, but there remains uncertainty over their participation, according to the Mail. The report adds the clubs will be provided “with an official portrait of the king and the queen consort and the coronation logo to be displayed on big screens while the anthem is sounded.”
As per the Athletic, the clash between Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Frank’s men is due to feature Live on Sky Sports, causing a possible headache for the broadcaster.
Liverpool supporters have booed the national anthem in the past. This is due to the anti-monarchist and anti-establishment stance held among the fan base. They booed ‘Abide With Me’ and ‘God Save the Queen’ before the FA Cup final in 2022 at Wembley. The same was noticed in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea and in the 2012 FA Cup final.
When asked to give his thoughts, Jurgen Klopp said: “It’s always best to ask the question – why does this happen? They wouldn’t do it without a reason. “Maybe I’m not here long enough to understand. I am sure it’s historical.”
“They go through lows, go through highs, suffer together. They wouldn’t do it if there was not a reason.”
John Gibbons from Liverpool fan podcast The Anfield Wrap said the people who criticise the protest should “maybe come up to Liverpool and speak to people and visit the food banks and see how some people in this city are struggling”.
Liverpool fans on social media were quick to react, with some suggesting they are looking forward to the potential boos.
Another suggested that when the rest of the country will be singing the national anthem, the Reds will hear “Nunez Nunez Nunez” at Anfield. a chant for their striker Darwin Nunez.
The Premier League also asked clubs to play the national anthem last September, in tribute to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
What will be most important for Liverpool faithful is that the mood at Anfield is a positive one, akin to the one we saw in their win over Tottenham Hotspur.
At one point, it seemed Liverpool had thrown away a three-goal lead after Richarlison, a former Everton man, nodded the ball past Alisson to make it 3-3 in stoppage time. But Diogo Jota stepped up at the other end to find a winner in the 94th minute and send Anfield into a frenzy.