Liverpool supporters group slams 'shambolic mismanagement' after Champions League final chaos

By Sports Desk May 29, 2022

Liverpool supporters' group Spirit of Shankly has slammed organisers for the chaos that engulfed the Champions League final in Paris.

The start of the match, in which Real Madrid went on to win 1-0, was twice delayed as Liverpool fans struggled to enter the Stade de France, with UEFA blaming congestion outside the stadium on supporters attempting to use fake tickets.

France's interior minister Gerald Darmanin also accused "thousands of British 'supporters', without tickets or with counterfeit tickets" for causing the disruption by attempting to force their way into the stadium.

But British broadcaster BT Sport reported that fans had been tear-gassed outside the stadium, while Merseyside Police have since claimed the "vast majority" of Liverpool supporters behaved in an "exemplary manner".

The force has also pledged to support Liverpool's request for a formal investigation into the "unacceptable issues" which fans faced prior to the match.

Members of the media at the Stade de France reported that Liverpool fans were funnelled through a small gap between police vans under a flyover en route to the stadium, while videos shared on social media show police using pepper spray on some supporters who merely appeared to be attempting to scan their tickets.

Spirit of Shankly on Sunday hit out at organisers' "shambolic mismanagement" of the final, refuting UEFA's initial suggestions that late-arriving fans had contributed to the disturbing scenes.

In a statement on their website, the group also accused organisers of "incompetence" and backed up claims of "indiscriminate use of tear gas and pepper spray" by the French police.

"Once again Liverpool supporters, and we are hearing, Real Madrid supporters, have felt the disorganisation and shambolic mismanagement of a major final by UEFA," the statement began.

"Their comments may have changed before the match, but what remained consistent was their narrative that fans were to blame.

"Fans were not late. Many began arriving more than two-and-a-half hours before the scheduled kick-off time. They had legitimate tickets but failed to gain entry. 

"The failure rests with UEFA, the French authorities and police.

"The consequence of such incompetence was the not-unusual heavy-handed response from the police and their indiscriminate use of tear gas and pepper spray."

The statement also claims that fans were subsequently left vulnerable after the match had finished.

"The French authorities and police also failed to control gangs of local youths before and after the match. Innocent fans were left distraught after they were assaulted, bags pick pocketed and match tickets stolen," the statement continued.

"The safety and well-being of our fans is paramount and in the weeks leading up to the game, Spirit of Shankly worked closely with Liverpool FC, Football Supporters Europe, and Merseyside Police to ensure all that could be done would be done to secure this. It was not. And that collective work was ignored by UEFA and the relevant French authorities.

"We will now work with those same organisations to gather evidence of all affected by the events in Paris. It is incumbent on UEFA, the French authorities and police to take responsibility.

"They need to send representatives to Liverpool to meet with LFC and Spirit of Shankly. Lessons need to be learned so that this never happens again."

Related items

  • Neville hits out at 'desperate' Man Utd transfer strategy amid Arnautovic links Neville hits out at 'desperate' Man Utd transfer strategy amid Arnautovic links

    Gary Neville launched a scathing attack on Manchester United's transfer strategy after their 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, labelling the Red Devils "desperate" amid reports linking them with Marko Arnautovic.

    United began the Erik ten Hag era in dismal fashion on Sunday as Pascal Gross' double condemned them to an opening-day defeat to the Seagulls.

    The result made Ten Hag the first United boss to lose his first Premier League game at the helm since Louis van Gaal did so against Swansea City in August 2014.

    With wantaway striker Cristiano Ronaldo starting on the bench and fellow forward Anthony Martial injured, United struggled to test a resolute Brighton rearguard and only pulled a goal back when Alexis Mac Allister put through his own net.

    In the aftermath of United's defeat, widespread reports suggested they had a £7.6million (€9m) bid for Bologna's 33-year-old forward Arnautovic rejected.

    United have also failed to entice top target Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona thus far, and Neville did not hold back when discussing the club's recruitment.

    "The first thing you do when the phone rings from Manchester United is reject the bid, because the reality of it is after losing that game against Brighton on Sunday, they're actually negotiating from an even worse position than they were on Saturday, and that's an even bigger problem for them," the former United defender said on Sky Sports.

    "I've got a comment on everything in the world, apart from Manchester United signing Marko Arnautovic. I've got nothing to say.

    "We've seen Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edison Cavani, Odion Ighalo - desperate, it's a pattern. 

    "It's happening time and time again. I don't even get angry or animated about it anymore. I'm not going to comment about it."

    Micah Richards was also unimpressed by the potential acquisition of Arnautovic, adding: "What has happened to Manchester United, seriously? I'm not going to stick the boot in. Arnautovic was a quality player, but he's 33 playing in Italy."

    After playing in the Premier League for Stoke City and West Ham, Arnautovic spent two years in China with Shanghai Port before moving to Bologna – for whom he scored 14 Serie A goals last season – in 2021.

    In his post-match media conference, Ten Hag declined to mention Arnautovic by name, only lamenting the unavailability of the strikers in his squad, with Ronaldo limited to a substitute appearance.

    "I don't go into names because I think in this pre-season 250 players are involved or linked with Manchester United, so that's it," Ten Hag said. "We have two strikers, maybe a third one, with Marcus Rashford as well.

    "We considered him as a striker, but he had a really good pre-season on the left side and today he had two really good chances coming in from the left side.

    "So I think it was the right decision to do it like this, the typical number nine wasn't available today."

  • 'A defeat that can do us good' – Allegri philosophical after Morata hat-trick crushes Juventus 'A defeat that can do us good' – Allegri philosophical after Morata hat-trick crushes Juventus

    Massimiliano Allegri remained philosophical after Juventus' comprehensive 4-0 friendly loss to Atletico Madrid on Sunday, adamant the rout could benefit his side in the long term.

    Juventus' clash with Atletico had originally been set for Tel Aviv but was moved to the Turin giants' training ground on Saturday owing to security concerns following a heightening of conflict in Gaza.

    Despite enjoying familiar surroundings, the Serie A club endured a chastening end to their pre-season campaign as Alvaro Morata's treble – as well as a late strike from Matheus Cunha – condemned them to a resounding defeat.

    Atletico's win could have been even more comfortable had Joao Felix not seen a first-half penalty saved by Wojciech Szczesny, but Allegri believes Juve will draw valuable lessons from the contest.

    "Atletico Madrid is certainly one of the strongest teams in Europe, they have an important squad," he told Sky Sport Italia.

    "We arrived a little tired to this match, but even in negative things we must find something positive and in this sense, this match must teach us. 

    "We only have one week to prepare ourselves in the best way, especially mentally, and to understand that it takes other things to win.

    "If we analyse this game and think in a certain way, it will not leave any aftermath. But we know that on August 15 there will be three points up for grabs and the attitude will certainly be different.

    "After all, I think it's a defeat that can do us good."

    Meanwhile, the Bianconeri boss refused to discuss Morata's future after the former Juventus loanee – who has been linked with a return to Turin – produced a dominant performance.

    Morata's future has been subject to debate throughout the transfer window, with Atletico reportedly refusing to sanction another loan move for a player who scored nine Serie A goals and added seven assists for Juventus last season.

    Only the since-departed Paulo Dybala (10) outscored the Spaniard among Juve players last term, while no Bianconeri player laid on as many league goals for team-mates.

    "I can't say anything about Morata because he is an Atletico player," Allegri added.

    "I liked [Gleison] Bremer, even [fellow new signing Federico] Gatti.

    "Right now, I have to work with who I have, we have the qualities and the possibilities to start the championship well, but we need to crack down on the attitude and be a little more bad."

    Juve begin their Serie A campaign at home to Sassuolo on August 15, with Diego Simeone's Atletico travelling to Getafe on the same day to get their LaLiga season under way.

  • Dortmund hold talks with Schulz over domestic abuse allegations Dortmund hold talks with Schulz over domestic abuse allegations

    Borussia Dortmund on Sunday revealed they have held talks with defender Nico Schulz over the domestic abuse allegations that have been levelled against him by a former girlfriend.

    The 29-year-old's ex-partner has reportedly filed a criminal complaint against him over an incident she alleged took place in 2020.

    Schulz says he is not guilty of any wrongdoing and Bundesliga club Dortmund will not be taking any action, with the case "pending" and "in its early stages."

    "Borussia Dortmund has responded to yesterday's media coverage of the criminal allegations concerning Nico Schulz's private life by immediately holding talks with the player and his advisors," read an official club statement.

    "The player contests the criminal allegations that have been made against him. Nico Schulz has informed us that he will defend himself against these accusations with the help of legal counsel and, in addition, calls for the assumption of innocence to be applied.

    "The allegations that have been made – of which Borussia Dortmund had no knowledge whatsoever until the media reports emerged – are extremely serious and shocking for BVB.

    "Borussia Dortmund takes them very seriously and distances itself from any form of violence. However, Borussia Dortmund is not party to the proceedings and has no insight whatsoever into the investigation files or the criminal charges that are apparently pending.

    "As this is a pending case in its early stages, and the factual and legal situation is extremely unclear to Borussia Dortmund as it stands today, we are not yet able to make any reliable and legally watertight decisions with regard to labour law and disciplinary measures.

    "However, we reserve the right to do so at any time once we objectively know more. Borussia Dortmund will not make any further comment at this time."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.