‘Significant disorder’ as thousands celebrate in Liverpool for second night

Police said there was “significant disorder” as Liverpool fans turned out for a second night to celebrate the club’s first league title in 30 years.

While most Reds in the city and around the world have been celebrating the Premier League triumph at home, a minority descended on Anfield on Thursday and on the city centre on Friday night.

One social media video showed thousands of fans near the waterfront as a firework was directed onto a balcony of the Liver Building.

Image:
Thousands of fans congregated at the waterfront in Liverpool city centre on Friday evening

Four fire engines were sent to the building, where they extinguished a blaze on a balcony, a Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said. The extent of the damage was not known.

Later in the evening the Liverpool Echo carried a video appearing to show glass bottles being thrown at police.

A Merseyside Police spokesman was unable to confirm that bottles had been thrown or the number of people arrested, but said there had been “significant disorder” overnight.

Several people are thought to have been injured.

The celebrations come despite the continued risk of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 43,000 people in the UK – with authorities similarly concerned by large gatherings of sunbathers at beaches and at street parties in London which have led to clashes with police.

Police eventually issued a dispersal order covering parts of Liverpool city centre.

Image:
Liverpool fans let off flares as they celebrated their team’s victory

A Section 34 Dispersal Order has been issued around the Liverpool City Centre (seen on map) under the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014 following large gatherings in the area this evening. The order will be in place until 28th June. pic.twitter.com/6BVSZzibKI

— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) June 26, 2020

Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy said: “We understand people want to celebrate Liverpool becoming Premier League champions for the first time in 30 years, and the time will come when fans can celebrate together with the team and applaud their achievement, but now is not that time.

“Please follow the advice of the players, the manager and the club by putting safety first.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is among those who have urged supporters to celebrate at home.

Image:
The mayor of Liverpool has warned that COVID-19 is still a major risk

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said he would consider a curfew to stop any more celebrations.

“Tomorrow we will look again at what we can do to make sure people are kept safe and this doesn’t keep happening,” he told the Echo.

“Maybe a curfew could be put in place as police powers have already been upped in the city to deal with anti-social behaviour.”

He’d earlier written on Twitter: “I am really concerned about scenes at Pier Head tonight.

“I appreciate LFC fans want to celebrate but please, for your own safety, and that of others, go home and celebrate at home.

COVID-19 is still a major risk and our city has already lost far too many people to the illness.”

Image:
Fans have been asked to wait for official celebrations planned for July

Liverpool’s long wait for a 19th league title ended on Thursday when Chelsea beat second-placed Man City.

Within an hour of the match finishing, thousands of supporters, many wearing face masks, had descended on the club’s stadium.

Flares were set off and some supporters climbed on roofs as they sang songs and hugged each other, with one man standing with his arm around a cardboard cutout of Klopp.

Liverpool City Council said plans were being made for celebrations at the end of the season in July.