Police were called to disperse thousands of fans celebrating Liverpool’s first English top division crown in 30 years at Pier Head after several violent incidents were reported, while the a small fire was extinguished on the balcony of the Liver Building after being hit with firework projectiles. The building is owned in part by Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
Social media footage shot at the scene shows supporters targeting the building, while other disturbing tweets showed at least one person suffering what appeared to be a head injury with local publication the Liverpool Echo reporting that supporters were throwing glass bottles at police.
Local media reports that 20 ambulances were required to treat various injuries, with at least one social media video suggesting that there had been a stabbing.
A police spokesman didn’t comment on the specifics of the violent scenes but admitted that there had been “significant disorder” overnight, while Merseyside Fire and Rescue said in a statement that they “were alerted to a small fire on a patch of astroturf. Firefighters have dealt with the incident and the fire is now out.”
The city’s mayor, Joe Anderson, admitted that the ugly scenes at a time which should be a major celebration for the red half of the city had brought him to tears.
“I actually have been quite emotional, I was in tears at one point watching some of those scenes,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“I spent a lot of yesterday talking about what an incredible achievement this was for Liverpool FC and what it means for the city.
“And the vast majority of fans did the right thing and celebrated at home – but sadly this has been undermined by the actions of some.
“We wanted to tell everyone the story of what Liverpool FC has achieved – but sadly we have woken up to negative headlines about the city, I’m, just exhausted by it, to be honest.”
Furthermore, Anderson criticized the supporters for attending the mass gathering a time when the city is still being ravaged by the coronavirus and says that the mass gathering could lead to a surge of infections in a city that has already been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We have more than 450 dead in hospitals from this virus in the city, there are people lying sick with it in hospital right now. It is just inexcusable for people to show such disregard for others,” he said.
Merseyside Police have since issued a Section 34 dispersal order for the city, meaning that they have the power to break up groups of more than two people. This will remain in effect until Sunday.
Liverpool FC, meanwhile, have denounced the behavior as “wholly unacceptable” in a statement released Saturday morning.
“Our city is still in a public health crisis and this behavior is wholly unacceptable,” the club wrote.
“The potential danger of a second peak of COVID-19 still exists and we need to work together to make sure we don’t undo everything that has been achieved as a region during lockdown.”
“When it is safe to do so, we will all work together to arrange a victory parade when everyone can come together to celebrate. Until that time, the safety of our city and our people continues to be our number one priority.”