Liverpool to play national anthem before Brentford game but fans expected to boo

Liverpool have announced they will play the national anthem prior to their Premier League clash against Brentford – a move that is unlikely to go down well with the majority of supporters.

The Anfield crowd are well known for their particularly hostile attitude towards the establishment, including the Royal Family and the Conservative-led governments, which stems from former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher putting Liverpool into a period of "managed decline" during the 1980s.

Official papers revealed that the ex-Tory chief was urged to abandon Merseyside after the 1981 Toxteth riots as unemployment soared due to the industrial decline in the city.

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At war with Liverpool's Labour-dominated councils, Thatcher was indifferent to the lack of factory development and cut the city's public services to further the discontent among Liverpudlians.

During that period, the Prime Minister was advised by Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe [now Lord Howe] that Liverpool should be left to "managed decline", warning her "not to over-commit scarce resources to Liverpool".

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There is also the matter of the Hillsborough disaster where Conservative MP Irvine Patnick repeated false information surrounding the devastating affair, where 97 Liverpool supporters tragically lost their lives. Future PM Boris Johnson, whilst holding the role of Editor at the Spectator, also signed off on an article describing the people of Liverpool as holding a "victim" mentality.

A community-centric city, Liverpool has since adopted a 'Scouse not English' persona with banners at Anfield showing disillusion for the affairs at Westminster and the English elite.

Many on Merseyside also pay no attention to the fortunes of the England national team, a decision enhanced further in recent years by Gareth Southgate's reluctance to pick boyhood scouser Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The disconnect between Liverpool and the establishment was evident in last season's FA Cup and League Cup final, where supporters voiced their frustration by booing 'God Save the Queen' at both Wembley showpieces.

Liverpool fans are likely to display their resentment once more when the coronation is celebrated by the sounding of the new national anthem ahead of the Reds' evening kick-off against Brentford.

An official club statement has already acknowledged a suspected backlash to the national anthem. It reads: "Before kick-off and in recognition of the Premier League’s request to mark the coronation, players and officials will congregate around the centre circle when the national anthem will be played.

"It is, of course, a personal choice how those at Anfield on Saturday mark this occasion and we know some supporters have strong views on it."


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