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Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Hits Out at Fixture Scheduling in Heated TV Exchange

Reds boss Klopp targeted the Premier League’s broadcasters over their match scheduling in a spiky interview immediately after he saw his Liverpool side denied victory after a stoppage-time VAR intervention led to a penalty for the home side.

To make matters worse for the German, Klopp’s already threadbare playing squad was further depleted when Liverpool midfielder James Milner was forced off the field with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

Klopp was then involved in a heated exchange with BT Sport presenter Des Kelly over scheduling and the early kick-off. 

The Liverpool supremo pointed out that the early start to matches on Saturdays, coming on the heels of crucial midweek Champions League ties, was contributing to too many player injuries.

"I don't know how often I have to say it. You picked the 12:30," Klopp said to Kelly.

"After Wednesday, Saturday at 12:30 is really dangerous for the players," Klopp added.

"We have one more Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 before new year. These are difficult moments. If you play at 15:00 or 17:30 it's exactly the same [from a TV point of view]. I'm not having a go at the broadcasters, I'm just saying how it is," Klopp continued.

But Kelly hit back, claiming that Klopp had chosen the wrong target: "We are broadcasters, we work within the Premier League rules, the Premier League makes the rules, that’s the Premier League clubs, so shouldn’t you be talking to Premier League clubs?"

Social media reaction to the exchange was divided.

England legend Gary Lineker agreed with Kelly and said that Klopp had picked the wrong target.

​But others noted that Klopp had made the very same points about the fixture schedule after the Reds beat Leicester 3-0 last week.

Other Liverpool fans just seemed happy to see their side return to the top of the Premier League without playing very well and called for unity.

​As the interview with Kelly continued, Klopp went on to criticise Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder for opposing a rule change that would allow sides to field five substitutes instead of just three currently - a move Klopp believes would limit player injuries.

"Chris Wilder says constantly that I'm selfish. I think the things he's said shows that he's selfish," said Klopp.

"This world is ruled by other people, the Premier League by Chris Wilder because he can decide all of us don't need five subs because he doesn't," Klopp added.

Again, Klopp divided social media, with many fans suggesting that Klopp was right to stand up for his players.

​But others said Klopp should call and apologise to Wilder for calling him selfish, as Liverpool has a better choice of subs to choose from than Wilder has at Sheffield United.

​Klopp appeared to regret the interview afterwards.

"From time to time I try to mention a few things which are a problem but not now because… oh I did it already because he wanted to have that interview and we had it," he told BBC Sports' Match of the Day program.

"It's silly enough to fall into that trap and now he has the headlines he wanted," the German added.

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