CRAIG HOPE: Jurgen Klopp should stop whining NOW. Millions of ordinary people affected by the pandemic are DESPERATE to work, so quit complaining about the ‘crime’ of the fixture schedules
- Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have both heavily criticised fixture congestion
- Klopp’s angry rant against broadcasters was cut from Sky Sports’ UK coverage
- Covid-19 disrupted people in all walks of life and managers need to get on with it
- Without the money from TV companies, football clubs would be in disarray
Covid-19 has caused congestion of one sort or another for all of us.
Take working parents, for example. With childcare options either reduced or negated completely, they are having to juggle offspring and work commitments from home. Call it fixture congestion, if you like – a lunchtime clash between an office Zoom call and feeding the kids.
Parents do not have a substitute to call in, a squad parent waiting for his or her chance to impress. They just get on with it. That’s what you have to do during a pandemic that causes such distortion to ordinary life.
Jurgen Klopp said BT and Sky Sports need to talk and find a solution over kick-off times
Klopp’s rant was axed from Sky Sports’ UK-based coverage but was shown around the world
Jurgen Klopp on injuries and the broadcasting schedule.
This part of his interview wasn’t aired by Sky, probably because he was speaking absolute facts.
Well in, Jurgen! pic.twitter.com/lrW50IycIV
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) November 22, 2020
So Jurgen Klopp take note – get on with it. Stop moaning about fixture scheduling and congestion.
Of course the Liverpool boss makes a valid point about the detrimental effect it has on players’ fitness – you only have to look at his depleted team during Sunday’s 3-0 win over Leicester for evidence of that – and he was kind enough to share those thoughts with Sportsmail last week.
He blames the TV companies. Again, that was obvious by the content of his post-match interview after Leicester, so furious that Sky Sports cut him off.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claimed this week that the intense fixture schedule means that English teams are ‘always at a disadvantage’ when it comes to playing in Europe
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said schedule for players is an ‘absolute joke’
JURGEN KLOPP ON NOT BEING LISTENED TO OVER KICK-OFFS
Speaking on Friday, Klopp said: ‘That’s true.
‘It’s not the time now for me to speak about it.
‘At the moment it’s only us until the end of the year. My thoughts are clear. But this isn’t the time for me to speak about it.
‘Whatever I said doesn’t seem to help so I’ll stop talking about it.
‘It changes nothing. It’s a waste of time.’
But here is the thing, without the money from those TV companies, Klopp would not have been able to call upon the likes of £41million Diogo Jota as deputy to Mo Salah.
He would not have a beautiful new state-of-the-art training ground and academy – at a cost of £50m – to develop young stars such as Curtis Jones, another who shone last weekend.
That’s the deal – Sky Sports and BT Sport, among others, pay Premier League clubs hundreds of millions of pounds in return for ownership of the TV scheduling.
Maybe a Covid-clause will be written into those lucrative contracts in future, a means of negotiation between clubs and broadcasters when it comes to expected rest periods between games. And that would be fair. But, while Covid-clauses do not exist for any of us right now, we get by.
You rotate, working evenings, weekends – Saturday lunchtimes, dare we say – as best you can to satisfy the contract agreed with your employer. So please, save us the whining.
The only thing more overloaded than the fixture schedule is the overload of complaint from the likes of Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
Klopp, it must be said, is making a far better job of managing such issues with his team. They are second in the Premier League and have shown the strength that resides in reserve.
Klopp (right) has been critical but without the TV money he would not have been able to go out and spend £41million on Diogo Jota (second from left) as a deputy to Mohamed Salah
Klopp’s gripe is injuries but he needs to get on with it and better rotate his players to stay fit
LIVERPOOL’S UPCOMING GAMES
Brighton (A) – Saturday, November 28 – 12.30pm
Ajax (H) – Tuesday, December 1 – 8pm
Wolves (H) – Sunday, December 6 – 7.15pm
FC Midtjylland (A) – Wednesday, December 9 – 5.55pm
Fulham (A) – Sunday, December 13 – 4.30pm
Tottenham (H) – Wednesday, December 16 – 8pm
Crystal Palace (A) – Saturday, December – 12.30pm
You do not hear the likes of Jota and Jones and countless others who have taken their chance complaining about a fixture pile-up, do you?
And do not forget how well paid these managers and players are during a time when millions in this country are struggling or concerned about their future.
Yes, football has been a wonderful antidote to the misery of 2020. We thank Klopp and his players for that. But do not sour that enjoyment with a constant stream of grievance and grumbling.
Read the room, sense the mood of the nation – and, for now at least, just get on with it.