Liverpool and Man Utd unite to educate about tragedy chanting

27 Mar 2024
Man Utd and Liverpool unite

Clubs come together to deliver programme speaking about impact of tragedy-related abuse

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The Foundations of Liverpool FC and Manchester United have come together to deliver an education programme on the impact of tragedy-related abuse and why it must stop.

In the lead-up to the Premier League fixture between the sides at Old Trafford on 7 April, the two Foundations invited schoolchildren from Manchester and Liverpool to Lord Derby School in Huyton for an afternoon learning about the tragic histories of the two great football clubs.

Phil Thompson and Wes Brown – who won 12 league titles and five European Cups between them for Liverpool and United, respectively – joined the session and spoke with students about the huge impact the Hillsborough and Munich disasters had on the two clubs, their fans, and the cities.

Man Utd and Liverpool unite

The two Foundations are developing the programme in partnership with the Premier League and plan to make it an annual part of their engagement with tens of thousands of young people across the Greater Manchester and Merseyside regions.

Liverpool and United have been at the forefront of the Premier League’s campaign against tragedy-related abuse, with managers Jurgen Klopp and Erik ten Hag last season issuing a joint statement calling for an end to chanting about Hillsborough, Heysel and Munich.

In addition to measures to educate fans, both clubs are committed to action against those found to have committed tragedy-related abuse, whether in stadiums or online. Club bans have been imposed on several fans following the recent FA Cup clash between United and Liverpool at Old Trafford and tragedy chanting is also liable to criminal prosecution. 

Matt Parish, CEO of LFC Foundation, said: “This is a hugely important event which both clubs are committed to making happen every year. Our two proud Foundations coming together to show young people, and all others, how we stand united against tragedy chanting is a very powerful message. Education is key, alongside appropriate action, to eradicating vile tragedy chanting in all its forms forever, and we’re delighted to be able do our bit to help.”

John Shiels, CEO of Manchester United Foundation, added: “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. We are proud to come together with LFC Foundation as we believe education will break the generational cycle on this issue and help thousands of young people across this region understand the impact tragedy-related abuse has.”

Premier League Director of Community Nick Perchard said: “We fully support this event hosted by Liverpool and Manchester United and are working closely with both clubs to develop and deliver this education initiative. This is a really important area of work to help young people understand the hurt and impact of football tragedy abuse. This is part of our continued wider efforts working together with clubs, football partners and authorities to take action and tackle this issue.” 

League's measures to combat tragedy chanting

The Premier League strongly condemns all forms of football tragedy abuse. Tragedy-related chanting is unacceptable and we alongside clubs, The FA and EFL are committed to working together to address it as a priority.

New tough measures were introduced at the start of the 2023/24 season, which mean people who are found to have committed offences face stadium bans and potential criminal prosecution. This applies to abuse occurring in stadium or online.

As part of this package of new measures, in November 2023, the Premier League launched education resources to help primary schoolchildren understand the hurt and impact of negative behaviour such as tragedy-related abuse. The in-classroom lessons are available to more than 18,000 primary schools and 60,000 teachers in England and Wales as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme.

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