Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he was “not too smart” inviting tens of thousands of fans to enjoy their Europa League final in Basel.
The German, speaking after the 2-0 win over Watford, accepted he had been caught up in the emotion of beating Villarreal on Thursday when he suggested “it is even worth going there without having a ticket for the game to be around the stadium”.
That was at odds with the club’s policy and advice from police and Klopp has accepted he was wrong to encourage ticketless fans to travel.
However, it may be too late as thousands have already made plans to head to Switzerland for the final against Sevilla on May 18 – even though Liverpool have been allocated just 10,236 tickets for the 35,000-capacity St Jakob-Park.
“Last time I spoke about Basel I spoke like a supporter and I invited all Liverpool fans to Basle,” Klopp said.
“That was not too smart to be honest. Basle is a nice city but it is not ready for us and it was my mistake.
“I have to take back the invitation to Basle.
“Please only people with tickets go there because everything else will be chaos and we don’t want this, we have to concentrate on football.
“It is wonderful to be in the stadium but if you cannot be there then stay at home or come to Liverpool and watch the game together with friends and let’s have a party after this.
“It is really, really, really necessary that you now listen – most of the time you can ignore what I say but now it is important.
“We have to send the team plus 10,000 fans and the rest all over the world can enjoy the game with best friends and family.”
Liverpool’s win over Watford was a low-key affair, somewhat understandable with such a big match on the horizon, and was settled by goals from Joe Allen in the first half and Roberto Firmino 14 minutes from time.
Even Klopp admitted it was not a game, for which he made eight changes, which would be remembered with any fondness.
“It was a real professional performance and we did what was necessary,” he added.
“We didn’t play brilliant and it was not a game for the Liverpool museum but we did what we had to win.”