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07th May 2019

Merseyside police shut down rumours the Barcelona team bus was stolen in Liverpool

Pic or it didn't happen

Oli Dugmore

Barcelona team bus stolen in Liverpool rumours squashed by coppers

Pic or it didn’t happen

Merseyside police have quashed rumours the Barcelona team bus was stolen in Liverpool yesterday.

Twitter was awash with suggestions the vehicle was nicked from the city’s Hilton after depositing the Spanish champions and being driven around Fazakerley at breakneck speed.

Suspiciously though, there was a total lack of pictures or video.

Barcelona arrived in Liverpool on Monday ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg, in which the Scouse army need to overturn a 3-0 deficit.

Merseyside police confirmed that absolutely no one had nicked the Barca team bus or indeed even damaged it.

Match Commander Supt Paul White said: “We are expecting a vibrant atmosphere at Tuesday’s match, but our intention is that at the end of the day we will be talking about the game and what happened on the pitch as opposed to off the pitch.

“As always, my officers will be dealing with the fans, as they would expect to be treated themselves. Our policing style will be firm, fair and friendly, but we will take action where necessary, against those individuals who may seek to cause problems or misbehave and spoil the evening for the majority of supporters.

“We know that this will be a busy operation with the eyes of the footballing world on Liverpool and we hope that fans attending the match will act as ambassadors for their clubs and enjoy what I am sure will be a good game. Both sets of supporters will be delighted that their teams have reached the semis and whatever the result on the night, that is an achievement worth celebrating for both clubs.”He added: “To ensure a safe environment for those attending the game, officers, working with club stewards, will be providing a reassuring presence in the area and they will be supported by mobile CCTV, provided by Liverpool City Council, and specialist dogs trained to detect pyrotechnics.

“Merseyside Police has been planning with Liverpool Football Club, Barcelona and other partners in the city to ensure that everyone attending the game has a great evening.

“While recognising that some supporters feel they can add to the atmosphere of the occasion, the use of flares and other pyrotechnics at and around football matches is a concern. We fully support the club in working to eradicate this dangerous and reckless practice and would ask that supporters work with us.

“The police and courts take these offences very seriously and prosecution can result in a prison sentence. I would remind people that this can apply not only within the stadium, but also in the surrounding streets and when attempting to enter the ground. Merseyside Police is committed to ensuring that everyone involved and attending the game tonight has a safe and enjoyable experience and we will not tolerate any criminal, or anti-social behaviour.”