Liverpool chairman Tom Werner admits he is looking forward to the Reds’ inevitable Premier League title celebrations, albeit admitting recent events have put football ‘into perspective.’
Liverpool stand 25-points clear at the summit of the league table, with just another two victories from their nine remaining games enough to clinch their first title in 30 years.
As coronavirus took hold around the world, football took a step back, with lockdown restrictions meaning the suspension of leagues and tournaments across all sports back in March, including the Premier League.
Players returned to non-contact training on Wednesday as clubs took their first step back onto the training pitch after a two-month hiatus.
The UK government and English football authorities are hopeful the Premier League can resume in mid-June, although games will take place behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.
Speaking to The Mail, Reds chairman Werner insisted safety is of paramount importance as he weighed in his thoughts on the pandemic’s impact on the sport.
“It’s a terrible situation we’re all in. Someday, hopefully, there will be a vaccine and we can return to the joy of being in a stadium and watching the elegant play of great football players,” Werner said.
“The most important thing is safety and the Premier League are working on protocols. But there’s a hole in so many people’s lives. Football is central to their dreams and their hopes.
“Certainly, as regards to Liverpool, we are playing magnificent football and we are just a couple of matches away from winning the trophy. But I do put it in perspective.”
Liverpool had begun preparations for a mammoth victory parade through the city centre – should they go on to clinch the title – however, those plans have been scrapped in line with social distancing guidelines.
Werner hopes supporters will be able to come together and celebrate their success when it is safe to do so, citing his excitement following last year’s Champions League triumph.
“The 4-0 win over Barcelona [in the semi-final second leg] was the single greatest sporting event I’ve ever seen,” he said.
“The reaction our supporters had in the stadium that day and around the world is something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
“I thought I could never imagine experiencing anything like [the parade]. Then somebody said, ‘Well, if we win the Premier League, this parade will be dwarfed’.
“I’m looking forward to a parade when we can all congregate again.”
The club had come under criticism last month when they announced plans to use the government’s furlough scheme, which would have seen the state cover 80 per cent of staff’s wages, for up to £2,000 a month.
Werner and FSG u-turned their decision and issued an apology after heavy backlash from fans, pundits and the wider UK public.
He admits he regrets their original decision, adding: “It’s better to admit a mistake than to dig your heels in.
“Hopefully, people will know that all we really care about is trying to support the fans and support our players and our club in a way that is sustainable.”