(Reuters) – Liverpool boss Juvergen Klopp has slammed British broadcasters Sky and BT over match scheduling that could cause more players to be injured.
When Sky Sports asked why he waited until the 89th minute of Leicester City’s 3-0 win over two of his three substitutes, Klopp began a broader view of the frequency of games.
“We have to constantly think about why we’re late and someone is going down with an injury. We can not change early because we change early, someone else is injured, and you end the game with nine players,” Klopp said.
“It’s about all the players, it’s all about the England players, all the players who will be playing in the European Championship next summer – if you (Sky) don’t start talking to BT we’re done.”
The COVID-19 pandemic ended late last season and shortened the current campaign to a short period.
The 53-year-old German believes that the scheduling of Champions League matches broadcast by BT, as well as the Premier League, which broadcasts Sky and BT, cause inconvenience and injury to players.
“If we continue to play at 1230 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, I’m not sure you’ve finished the season with 11 players. The top six players are the same, but I know (the broadcasters) it doesn’t matter, that’s the problem,” Klopp told Sky.
Reuters contacted Sky and BT for comment.
Injured players have already been ruled out, including center-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez and midfielders Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara. Klopp suffered another setback.
“People tell us we can turn around – who? We have criminal players, the rest are kids. That’s right. We fight for what we have, but if you (the broadcasters) don’t start talking, you’ll see what happens,” he said.
“We can’t change the 10th and 11th positions. It’s not possible. We can’t just show up. We have to win football matches.”
Klopp said he has been forced to make a lot of changes to this pandemic football over the past few months and has rejected suggestions that it is difficult to adjust the schedule to give the squads more time to recover.
“It’s really hard for players, and that’s hard – the rest is just a decision at an office desk,” he said.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Toby Davis)