Erik ten Hag & Jurgen Klopp issue joint statement for end of 'tragedy chanting'
By Tom Gott
Manchester United and Liverpool managers Erik ten Hag and Jurgen Klopp have come together to urge all fans to end chants about historic tragedies ahead of Sunday's meeting between the two sides.
Abhorrent chants have been heard in relation to numerous past events close to the two clubs, such as the Munich Air Disaster or stadium tragedies at Hillsborough and Heysel.
Supporters from other clubs have also been heard singing the chants or other similar offensive songs in relation to various teams from across the country.
In an attempt to bring an end to this 'tragedy chanting', Ten Hag and Klopp have joined forces to send a message to supporters of every team in the Premier League.
"The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool is one of the greatest in world football," Ten Hag began. "We all love the passion of the fans when our teams meet, but there are lines that should not be crossed.
"It is unacceptable to use the loss of life - in relation to any tragedy - to score points, and it is time for it to stop. Those responsible tarnish not only the reputation of our clubs but also, importantly, the reputation of themselves, the fans, and our great cities.
"On behalf of myself, our players, and our staff, we ask our fans to focus on supporting the team on Sunday, and representing our club in the right way."
Klopp added: "One of the main reasons why the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United is so special is that it is so intense and no one should ever want to change this. But at the same time when the rivalry becomes too intense it can go to places that are not good for anyone and we do not need this.
"We do want the noise, we do want the occasion to be partisan and we do want the atmosphere to be electric. What we do not want is anything that goes beyond this and this applies especially to the kind of chants that have no place in football. If we can keep the passion and lose the poison it will be so much better for everyone."
The two managers concluded: "Together, Liverpool and Manchester United want to show the special and positive side of this wonderful rivalry between two great football clubs with proud, but at times, tragic histories."