Klopp continues tirade against Premier League's hectic schedule

Jurgen Klopp continues his furious tirade against Premier League’s hectic schedule as he hits back at Gary Neville and claims: ‘I am not like him. I care about ALL players’ after pundit claimed he’s looking to gain an advantage by calling for five subs

  • Jurgen Klopp has made his views clear on the need for five substitutes in games 
  • Liverpool did not to raise the matter when Premier League clubs met Thursday 
  • Gary Neville insisted the German’s only aim is to gain an advantage for his side 
  • But now Klopp has hit back and said he is concerned by the welfare of all players 

Jurgen Klopp has continued his tirade against the Premier League’s incessant schedule and hit back at claims from Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville that he was seeking to gain an advantage for his Liverpool side.

Klopp has made his views clear on the urgent need for the Premier League to change the rules and allow five substitutes mid-season, but the club chose not to raise the matter when the top-tier clubs met on Thursday. 

Former United right-back Neville responded to Klopp’s astonishing BT Sport interview at Brighton by insisting that the German’s only aim of his outbursts is to give his players as much rest as possible and the best playing times to suit his players.

Jurgen Klopp has continued his tirade against the schedule and hit out at Gary Neville

Neville told Sky Sports earlier this week that Klopp is trying to gain an advantage for his side

But the Liverpool boss has now continued his war of words ahead of the visit of Wolves by declaring that he ‘is not like’ Neville and that the welfare of the league’s players does concern him.  

‘I heard now Gary Neville said – I understood it but I can’t remember what he exactly said – but it’s not about Liverpool,’ Klopp said.

‘Whatever he thinks maybe is evidence of what he would do, how he would deal with a situation like that but he cannot think or should not think that I’m like him because I’m not like him, I speak about all the players and not only the Liverpool players. 

‘He said three subs helps them. It is only because we haven’t voted yesterday it doesn’t make the problem go away. 

Liverpool suffered another injury last weekend when James Milner went off at Brighton

But the Liverpool boss insists he is concerned about the welfare of all Premier League players

‘It’s not about Liverpool, I don’t really have five players at the moment I can bring, I can bring kids and stuff like this and that’s all ok and it’s our problem nothing to do with the general problem but it’s about all the players, and it’s about load management and nothing else. 

‘Load management not for getting an advantage, loan management for dealing with the problem which this Covid situation is for football as well, dealing with the situation in the best possible way and we cannot just ignore it because some people say it would be an advantage for others because it’s not about an advantage, I cannot say it often enough.’

A furious Klopp engaged in a war of words with BT Sport reporter Des Kelly after James Milner was forced off with an injury in their 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as he once again blamed broadcasters for their fixture pile-up this season.

The Liverpool boss has already had to deal with a number of serious injuries to key players – such as Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold – and believes the reintroduction of the five substitutes rule will help better protect his players. 

The Liverpool boss has already lost key players to injuries including Trent Alexander-Arnold

But while admitting sympathy for the 12:30pm kick-offs that his side have had, especially following a Champions League fixture, Neville claimed Klopp’s only intention was to replicate what former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson used to do to try and get the schedule which best suited his side.

‘Sir Alex Ferguson wanted that advantage. He wanted the ability to recover more and play different times so that it sorted Manchester United. That is what Klopp wants now,’ Neville said on Monday.

‘Does he have a point in the wider context? I don’t think it is an exceptional season, it is only more exceptional because the players have had more rest than they have ever had before. They had three months of Covid, they then had nine matches where even though they had won the league Klopp played all his best players, they then had five weeks off before the start of the season.

‘In any season, I only got three or four weeks in World Cup and Euros year, so there is more rest this year than in any other year. I don’t get why it is a unique season. I get that the fans aren’t there and the feeling isn’t there for the players.’

He continued: ‘I remember the third of the season of the 2002-03 season we played at 11am, at 11:30, midday, we played so many games in that slot, as did Liverpool in 2006-07, this is not a new problem, this is a 18-year old problem.

‘Liverpool have played two games in that slot. The max Liverpool can play in that slot is six, so I don’t think Jurgen Klopp can have a major gripe about being disadvantaged.’

As revealed by Sportsmail on Thursday, the issue of five substitutes was not included on the Premier League shareholders’ meeting agenda, but any club could have brought it up and secured a vote.

Klopp claimed that he had the backing of 14 other managers for the move to five subs, which would be enough to carry any vote.

Klopp maintains there are still enough clubs voting in favour for it to be carried but insists player welfare is being ignored by certain chiefs at top-flight sides.

‘I was not surprised because I knew about it, that information speaks for itself, nobody thought it would go through,’ Klopp added.

‘I told you about the fact that in the managers’ meeting if we would had voted that day which we were not allowed to it would have gone through one hundred percent, with 15 or 16 votes. 

‘That it didn’t happen since then is obviously a sign that some shareholders, CEOS, sporting directors whatever, see it differently to their managers, that’s not really a good sign to be honest because it shows that these people really ignore the player welfare. 

‘But if you don’t have the chance to vote for it then you have to accept that for the moment. Because it’s not just player welfare by the way, mental health as well, its the whole package. we will not sop fighting for it because its the right thing to do.’

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