I agree with Klopp.

Published: Monday, 30 November 2020

Jurgen Klopp is correct. The current schedule for some teams - especially his and Chelsea’s - is crazy.  Since the start of last season Liverpool have had six 12.30 starts - Chelsea seven. Early Saturday is exacerbated when either team have played in Europe on a Wednesday. I get it. It’s wrong. It’s tough. But - what do you expect tv companies to do about it Mr Klopp? The architects of the problem are the clubs. Simple. If there is an answer - find it. And stop moaning about it because it’s becoming a tedious obsession. And it’s affecting your team.

His ‘debate’ with BT Sports Des Kelly was fair enough. It wasn’t a rant - more of a discussion, but Klopp just won’t listen. It wasn’t quite the same - but there were echoes of Rafa’s Rant about it. I got our guys at BeINSPORTS to dig that one out on Sunday and you’d be surprised how many similar points Rafa made - fact, Mr Ferguson.

I know that Rafa’s infamous meltdown came at a much later stage in the season, but it cost his team. Liverpool were never the same after it and it’s generally agreed that it cost them the title.  If Klopp doesn’t put his obsession down he could end up doing the same thing. When a manager or coach loses the plot his team tends to follow. Remember Keegan? 

The problem originates from the multi-million pound contracts that the PL shareholders - the clubs - agree to. BT Sport has the right to 32 games at 12.30 on a Saturday. Twenty of them are ‘second picks’ - so once Sky have chosen 4.30 Sunday BT make their choice. BT paid £860m for the right to show 96 matches at lunchtime on Saturday over a three year period. £860m Mr Klopp. And you want them to chose to watch Burnley play Palace? Or Sheffield United v West Brom? Come on. Get real.

There are a number of other issues here. We ‘foreign’ broadcasters are rarely given a thought, but our money is happily received as well. In our part of the world there are thousands of Liverpool fans who love seeing their team in the early afternoon on Saturday. Go further round the globe, where the Far Eastern and Aussie broadcasters are, and its even better for supporters there. Thousands more Liverpool fans, who don’t have to stay up into the small hours to see their team play. Yes Mr Klopp, the same thousands that you pay lip service to with the odd post/pre season trip. The thousands that loyally spend their money on replica kit and various other rip offs. What about them? No. I thought not.

Overseas rights have become a huge source of revenue for PL clubs. In the last round of negotiations they matched the domestic figures. Next time they’ll be worth more because the U.K. broadcasters are at their limit re-rights. In this deal there was a package in the U.K. that the PL couldn’t give away for a while. Then Amazon stepped in. Covid has burst the bubble.

So be careful what you wish for Mr Klopp. Your bosses know what’s going on and that’s why they can’t help you. It’s them that you should be angry with.

And let’s not forget - the current load on everybody was easily avoidable. Some of us even spoke about it when Covid shut down last season. We should’ve ended it and got ready for an earlier start to this campaign. We didn’t. Liverpool - I guess understandably - were the club more than any other - that wanted to play to a finish. That’s where the root of this problem lies. We all knew it was going to be a quick turnaround. We all knew players would suffer. We all knew it was going to be ‘different’ this season Mr Klopp. You’ve said that yourself.

One last thought. Perhaps you could get your Chief Exec to have a word with someone at UEFA and get the midweek CL games played earlier on a Wednesday? Lunchtime perhaps? Or mid afternoon? Why not? With no fans in who would it adversely affect? I can’t think of a good reason why not.

Whatever else Mr Klopp - give us a break. The problem is of your making.

I was more concerned to see Arsenal’s medical team allow David Luiz play on through his sickening clash of heads with Raul Jimenez. And he later drove home. I’ve checked with some of my mates who work in medical depts elsewhere and to a man they were astounded. Especially in the current climate. It’s was complete madness.

Never mind Troy Deeney’s observations that his ‘legs didn’t give way’ when he came back on. I love Troy. He’s an old school warrior - but Luiz was in serious danger the moment he played on. A second bump could’ve been fatal. Literally - fatal.

Arsenal’s medical team were reckless. Mikel Arteta was too. He could’ve made the decision. Klopp is whining on about fatigue whilst Arteta is putting his man in serious danger.

I’ve got to mention the pen Brighton got. Never. Ever. Not for me. Why was it even referred? The error wasn’t ‘clear and obvious’. Nor were the two that got referred the previous week - that clearly were pens. It was another weekend when the match day official was overruled by Stockley Park. The visit to the monitor by Stuart Attwell led to a change of opinion. Why? I repeat - in my view the guys are being told what to do on the walk there. We need to hear that conversation. All of us - fans and broadcasters alike. It’s critical now. When you’ve got good pro’s like James Milner and Jordan Henderson coming out as strongly as they did something is clearly wrong. Join me - let’s get a campaign moving. We MUST be allowed to hear the conversation between Stockley Park and the ref.

And finally. Happy St. Andrew’s Day to those of you celebrating - including my mate Andy Gray. Happy Birthday also Andra - you’re still the best. Thirty two years we’ve been doing it now - it’s been a blast.