Man City v Liverpool police briefing

Earlier this week, ahead of the game away to Manchester City tomorrow, Spirit of Shankly attended a police briefing, alongside representatives from LFC, MCFC and City’s supporters trust.

We were able to ask questions on behalf of supporters, but the primary aim was for the police to share their plans for the day.

As has been the case recently, this fixture is deemed ‘high risk’. The stated aim of the police is to reduce this and make it safe enough so that it doesn’t have to be a 12.30 lunch-time kick-off.

Before entering the stadium, the usual soft-ticket checks will be in place with electronic readers and pat-downs at the turnstiles. Once inside, there will be 22 LFC stewards, plus police spotters, in home and away ends, looking out for coin/missile throwing.

Tragedy chanting will be actively policed and stewarded. There was a commitment from MCFC to eradicate this by encouraging staff to take positive action. A pre-match briefing to police and stewards will include comms from LFC plus the recent video shot with a segment from Margaret Aspinall.

Information has already been sent to City fans on this issue and will be highlighted on Saturday over the Tannoy and scoreboard. This is a positive step.

We asked that City put out comms to supporters regarding the “always the victim” chants, but they said they would need to discuss and would update us.

An anonymous text number will be available to report any issues, specifically tragedy chanting or coin/missile throwing.

Political flags are not allowed.

We were told initially any post-match holdback will be determined on the day, with police and stewards gauging the mood. But if it did happen only Tier 1 would be held, with dispersion starting immediately from Tier 3, to allow people down the stairs, then on to Tier 2 and finally Tier 1. There would be managed access to toilets.

But yesterday we were informed this has changed and if our fans are held back it will be the entire end, followed by a managed level-by-level departure.

We have questioned why the overnight change and will raise it again at the match debrief next week, and report back.

LDSA have been briefed and provided the right level of support, which is a positive move.

There will be a significant police and security presence in the coach park after the game and a police escort for coaches.