A huge amount of relief was felt today when Liverpool FC announced they had managed to postpone their fixture with Blackburn Rovers on April 15th by a day.
Liverpool had been trying all season to get the fixture moved away from the originally planned day, which is of course the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Every year at Anfield since the disaster a service has taken place on the anniversary, starting at 3:06pm. It gives families, players, staff and supporters the chance to remember the 96 victims of the disaster. The fixture congestion Liverpool were suffering from prior to Champions League elimination meant the best option the club could come up with was to play at 5.30pm on the day of the service. Emotions and views amongst fans were varied, with many feeling the club shouldn’t even consider playing that day.
Thankfully though Blackburn have kindly agreed to move the game to the following day, with a 2.30pm kick-off, meaning 15th April remains a day for remembrance and reflection this season.
Making the announcement was the Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry, who has received a lot of personal criticism over the original decision to go ahead with the game. He said: “As soon as we were knocked out of Europe and other fixture dates became available, we contacted both Blackburn Rovers and the FA Premier League and we’re delighted it has been possible to reschedule the game. With the match being moved for a second time, there is obviously a degree of inconvenience for Blackburn Rovers and their supporters and we are very grateful for their co-operation and understanding of the issues involved.”
Parry wasn’t ignorant of the concerns expressed by the supporters, and was glad to be able to finally address the concerns with the new date: “We were always aware of the feelings expressed by many of our supporters on the original date and are glad we have been able to address these concerns.”