J.Argen Klopp started quite a magical treadmill on Sunday with a Premier League fixing schedule and is not the only top-flight director in recent times. Earlier Thursday, Frank Lampard lamented that his Chelsea players were still returning from international duty, but faced a Newcastle flight for a kick-off during Saturday’s BT Sport-scheduled lunch, followed by a trip to Rennes. A few weeks ago, Ole Gunnar Solskizar said with some bitterness that those in charge of UK TV scheduling were preparing his team to fail.
Lampard’s allegations were more Chelsea-specific and despite being ignored, it seemed that after the break he felt more compelled to fight for his team for the first time, Klopp repeatedly insisted that he was speaking on behalf of tired players everywhere, rather than those who just Liverpool must be in the team.
“It’s about all the players, it’s about the England players,” he told Sky Sports reporter Geoff Srivastava. “It’s about the players who will play in the European Championships next summer.” As if warming up their theme, Klopp continued. “If you don’t start talking to BT Sport, we’re done. Sky and BT have to talk.”
Klopp seemed to notice that he was not personally responsible on the touchline for what he clearly felt so strongly about Sky’s person, apparently Mid-Diarytab realized that his elite subject was just getting closer, the public face of one of the two networks, Which made him so dissatisfied that he stood up conveniently to hold a sports-branded microphone in the sky.
Srivastava, for his achievement, stands his ground. “But the clubs have agreed to those slots,” he countered, adding that his repost was ignored by Erat Klopp, a middle-flower. “Although it’s more complicated, Jorgen,” he tried again. “It’s not just the broadcasters, it’s the whole lot involved: the clubs who agree to the deal …”
Klopp was not interested in hearing the argument, previously emphasizing that the problem of scheduling fixtures could easily be solved by sitting in the office and throwing things out to administrators and desks. “If someone tells me about the contracts again, I really go nuts, because the contracts aren’t for a coveted season,” he said. “We all have to adapt.”
It was at one point an unreasonably provocative, anxious and amusing debate between a Premier League director and a reporter who was accused of being negligent in terms of accountability from time to time. It is famous in the face of criticism of the way Sky Sports, which was chosen not to broadcast in the UK, conducts its business.
Klopp’s argument is easy to echo by several parts. He believes the schedule demand set by broadcast networks during the epidemic-cut Premier League season is detrimental to the physical well-being of elite footballers and is therefore unfair. In the face of this, it seems perfectly reasonable that he and his opposite number, Leicester Brendon Rogers, were forced to plan without several key players in Sunday’s game.
But Srivastava’s rebuttal also seemed completely justified. When Premier League clubs sign a multi-million pound deal with TV networks, they do so with the knowledge that they have to comply with certain obligations related to the match schedule. Klipp’s observation that these deals weren’t drawn “for the Covid season” further suggests that if he hadn’t been equally furious about his team’s demands last October, a few months before Covid’s shadow had darkened the UK gates.
Not a plague or epidemic, the Liverpool manager is a serial mourner when he has to play matches for his teams that are not suitable for him and when he argues for more flexibility from TV companies whether his allegations seem selfish or not.
It is a matter of public record that in the six seasons since coming to Anfield, Klopp seems to be making unreasonable claims by his team or criticizing other managers for pointing them out. In some seasons he has done both.
Since 2015, he has criticized Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conti and Jose Mourinho for complaining about the fixture calendar, but has never backed down from expressing his annoyance if the shoe is on the other foot. As well as last year’s Diatib when he threatened to remove his team from the League Cup, he overcame the issue of traffic jams by influencing Liverpool in the previous three campaigns.
In fact, in five of the six seasons in English football, Klopp declared himself “relaxed” about what had apparently happened from the outset, even though it didn’t take long for him to change his tune. There is so much evidence of his dissatisfaction with the match schedule, it is difficult to avoid the decision that while coronavirus is not a problem, we almost certainly have to listen to his complaints.
Premier League clubs are paid millions of pounds through broadcasting networks, who are fully entitled to their role as subscribers to Payne when it comes to calling the tune. If this arrangement is not to the liking of the managers of those clubs, it is up to the managers to ensure that the owners, chairmen and chief executives of their clubs insist on keeping more recalcitrant houses during repeated kicks.
Since March, the epidemic has plagued all of us in one way or another, and elite footballers and their managers are no exception, but unlike most of us, they have received ridiculously good rewards for the sacrifices they are forced to make, and it is noteworthy that few, if any, Players have complained about their work pressure.
The situation is not as catastrophic as the Liverpool manager and his similarly disgruntled colleagues claim.