Manchester City have released a statement denying that a chant sung amid the celebrations of their most recent Premier League title related to the incident involving Liverpool fan Sean Cox or the Hillsborough tragedy.
A video of the club returning to Manchester on a plane from Brighton - where they beat the Seagulls 4-1 to claim their fourth Premier League title - surfaced on social media, appearing to show
The chant in question parodied Liverpool's famous 'Allez, Allez, Allez' and apparently contained the incendiary lyrics 'battered in the streets', 'crying in the stands' and 'victims of it all'.
The singing of the chant raised concerns, forcing the club to release a statement denying the lyrics were intended to mock either Sean Cox or Hillsborough, explaining that it had been a 'regular chant' during the 2018/19 season and referred to the Reds' 2018 Champions League final loss to Real Madrid in Kiev.
As reported by Sky Sports, the statement reads: "The song in question, which has been a regular chant during the 2018-19 season, refers to the 2018 UEFA Champions League final in Kiev.
"Any suggestion that the lyrics relate to Sean Cox or the Hillsborough tragedy is entirely without foundation."
Man City fans saying it's not about Sean Cox. They were all singing about being "battered in the streets" less than month after that incident. Please.— Rush The Kop (@RushTheKop) May 14, 2019
“It’s not about Sean Cox, it’s about other fans who were attacked by thugs before a match” isn’t the greatest explanation, is it?— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) May 14, 2019
It’s a classless chant from Man City fans. That the players sang it on that video is just baffling. As is the fact that people are defending it.
It’s honestly embarrassing that some Man City fans think it’s ok for their players to sing about fans being beat up.— RhysW_LFC (@RhysW_LFC) May 14, 2019
Dear @ManCity,— Stuart Baggs (@Baggsie13) May 14, 2019
As Sean Cox continues his recovery from being ‘battered in a street’ YOUR players & staff sing about it to celebrate. Those who sang should hang their heads in shame! Utterly vile and shameful!
However, the song has received widespread criticism on Twitter, with one user writing: "It's honestly embarrassing that some Man City fans think it's OK for their players to sing about fans being beat up."
Cox sustained brain injuries following an attack in the build-up to Liverpool's Champions League semi-final with Roma last year, with three Italians sent to prison for their offences.