Update from Billy Hogan on issues at UCL final
Liverpool FC CEO Billy Hogan has provided an update from the club on the issues experienced by supporters at Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris.
Billy, you have just arrived back in Liverpool from Paris. The horrendous events outside the stadium completely overshadowed what should have been a really special occasion. Can you please share your views from the night and explain what happens next regarding the investigation?
I’m just back – obviously an incredibly difficult night, a disappointing night. But what happened outside the stadium completely overshadowed it. The stadium entry and the breakdown of security in the perimeter was absolutely unacceptable and frankly the treatment of our fans as well. As we discussed last night with UEFA, we are asking for a full and transparent investigation; an independent investigation that can help to establish the facts. It’s absolutely imperative that we understand what happened last night and how we got into that situation where people’s safety was put at risk. It’s important we understand what happened last night but it’s also important we make sure that we take whatever the lessons are and ensure it never happens again.
As an example, the Merseyside Police was on the ground just in an advisory capacity last night and you may have seen they put a statement out earlier today where they talked about the behaviour of the fans being exemplary; queuing and doing what they were asked to do in terms of queuing and being orderly. In addition, the fact that fans were there very early at the stadium as well. So, we’re intent on ensuring there’s an independent investigation and obviously we as the club will be absolutely part of that and co-operative. We look forward to making sure that’s done and done well.
There are obviously a lot of supporters still in Paris, some on their journey home now. What’s the next step for those who experienced the entry and safety issues and how can they contact the club to share their experiences of what happened?
First off, I think the most important thing is that people are safe. It was an incredibly difficult night for a lot of people and we understand there were a lot of different experiences that took place over the course of the evening and it’s imperative that we hear from supporters; we want to make sure we hear what their experiences were, we want to ensure that we get the facts, we want to be able to provide those facts to the relevant authorities as it relates to the independent investigation. Over the course of the coming days we’ll be setting up a way and a mechanism for supporters to reach out to us directly and to be able to provide their experiences and accounts of what happened last night.