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28th Nov 2020

Jurgen Klopp argues with BT Sport interviewer over kick off times

Jurgen Klopp argued for eight minutes with BT Sport's Des Kelly over fixture scheduling after Liverpool picked up another muscle injury against Brighton

Reuben Pinder

Klopp was not happy

Jurgen Klopp snapped at BT Sport’s Des Kelly after Liverpool dropped two points against Brighton thanks to a late penalty decision. Once again, Liverpool’s boss was keen to emphasise the gruelling nature of having to play the early kick off on a Saturday after playing in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The game finished 1-1, with goals coming from Diogo Jota and Pascal Groß, and three VAR decisions sparking a debate about the merits of the technology once again. But the real entertainment came in Klopp’s post match interview, as he and Kelly went back and forth over the issues surrounding fixture scheduling.

Liverpool suffered another injury in the game against Brighton, as James Milner picked up a hamstring injury, joining a long list of casualties in the treatment room.

Klopp had recently called on BT Sport and Sky Sports to work together in order to ease the workload on Premier League players, saying it was not just about his Liverpool players, but about all the players who had travelled on international duty.

On Saturday afternoon, he congratulated BT Sport for Milner’s injury, accusing them of choosing Liverpool to play in the early kick-off, when it would have made no difference to the broadcaster to have played a later kick off, but been beneficial to his players to have extra rest.

Des Kelly argued back that he should be speaking with other Premier League chief executives, not blaming the broadcasters.

“Maybe you’re firing at the wrong target,” Kelly said.

“We work within the Premier League rules and the Premier League makes the rules. That’s the Premier League clubs.”

Klopp took a deep breath and replied: “I don’t know how often I have to say it, you picked the 12:30 kick off.

“If we play at 3 o’clock or 5:30, it’s exactly the same,” Klopp argued.

Kelly, again, told Klopp it is up to the chief execs of each club to solve this problem.

“If you come down here and have a go at the broadcasters, it doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t change anything,” Kelly argued.

“After Wednesday, Saturday 12:30 is really dangerous for the players,” Klopp retorted.

The conversation then moved on to the five subs rule, when Klopp took a swipe at Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, calling him selfish for voting against allowing more substitutions.

You can watch the full exchange here.

Gary Lineker came out in support of Des Kelly, saying it was a Premier League issue, not one the broadcasters should be blamed for.