Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has released a statement to fans following the suspension of the Premier League season.
The Reds have seen their Premier League title triumph delayed and Monday's Merseyside derby cancelled after club chiefs voted unanimously in favour of halting professional action until at least April 3.
The news leaves a cloud hanging over the remainder of the season and casts doubt over when the Reds will finally secure their first top-flight title in 30 years.
But Klopp insists football is secondary during the ongoing health crisis as he urged supporters to “put your health first”.
In the open letter on Liverpool's website, here’s what Klopp wrote: “I don’t think this is a moment where the thoughts of a football manager should be important, but I understand for our supporters they will want to hear from the team and I will front that.
“First and foremost, all of us have to do whatever we can to protect one another. In society I mean. This should be the case all the time in life, but at this moment I think it matters more than ever.
“I’ve said before that football always seems the most important of the least important things. Today, football and football matches really aren’t important at all.
“Of course, we don’t want to play in front of an empty stadium and we don’t want games or competitions suspended, but if doing so helps one individual stay healthy – just one – we do it no questions asked.
“If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society, it’s no contest. Really, it isn’t.
“Today’s decision and the announcement is being implemented with the motive of keeping people safe. Because of that we support it completely. We have seen members of teams we compete against becoming ill. This virus has shown that being involved in football offers no immunity. To our rival clubs and individuals who are affected and to those who later will become so, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
“None of us knows at this moment what the final outcome will be, but as a team, we have to have the belief that the authorities make decisions based on sound judgement and morality.
“Yes, I am the manager of this team and club and therefore carry a leadership responsibility with regards to our future on the pitch. But I think in the present moment, with so many people around our city, the region, the country and the world facing anxiety and uncertainty, it would be entirely wrong to speak about anything other than advising people to follow expert advice and look after themselves and each other.
“The message from the team to our supporters is only about your well-being. Put your health first. Don’t take any risk. Think about the vulnerable in our society and act where possible with compassion for them.
SEE ALSO | Dele Alli Accused Of Racism In Video Mocking Deadly Coronavirus
“Please look after yourselves and look out for each other.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago