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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool boss urges Sky and BT to fix schedule

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says they might struggle to end the season with 11 players and warned “we are all done” unless broadcasters talk to each other about the football schedule.

He was speaking to Sky Sports after his side’s 3-0 win over Leicester City.

Liverpool play Atalanta on Wednesday and Brighton on Saturday at 12:30 GMT.

“Everybody tells me it is difficult but it is really difficult for the players. The rest is just a decision on a desk in an office,” Klopp said.

In an impassioned interview with Sky’s Geoff Shreeves, which was shown by international broadcasters, Klopp said: “If you don’t start talking to BT, we are all done.

“Sky and BT have to talk. If we keep playing on Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 I am not sure if we will finish the season with 11 players.”

When Klopp was told the clubs had agreed the broadcast deals, he said: “If someone tells me again about contracts I will go really nuts because the contracts were not made for a Covid season.

“You stand here with the facemask, we adapt. Everything changed but the contract with the broadcasters is still ‘nope, we have this so we keep this’. What? Everything changed. The whole world changed.”

This week will be the third out of four occasions the Reds have played on the Saturday after a Champions League game, although this is the first at lunchtime.

Klopp, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester United counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all criticised the TV timings in recent weeks.

“I am discussing this completely calm,” Klopp said to Shreeves, “but they say I talk about Liverpool. I don’t, I talk about the football players out there.

“Yesterday, [Barcelona’s Gerard] Pique – massive knee injury – today maybe [Arsenal’s Bukayo] Saka, I’m not sure but it looked like a knee injury. He played all three games for England in the international break.

“People tell us to rotate but who? We have offensive players we could rotate but the rest are kids.”

Guardiola and Klopp discussed before their recent meeting that five substitutes should be allowed in games as they are in most of Europe’s top leagues and now the English Football League.

“Why we change late [two of their substitutions against Leicester were in the 89th minute] is because we have to constantly think that someone will go down with a muscle injury,” Klopp said.

“We cannot change early because if the other one has a muscle injury you end the game with nine players.”

Klopp has also previously said he was “slightly concerned” about the amount of travelling his players had to do during international breaks.

In the 71 days since Liverpool’s season started on 12 September, the Reds have played 15 matches – with two international breaks in that time.

They have played a game – in either the EFL Cup or Champions League – in every midweek outside international weeks since 20 September.

“We will show up there [Brighton] and we will be shaking,” Klopp said. “I think about sending the points, that is how it is because we go there and we lose the game.”

Source: BBC Sport

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