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Klopp blasts broadcasters, blames fixture pile-up for European woes

Outgoing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has launched a scathing attack on broadcasters, particularly TNT Sports. He blamed the relentless fixture schedule for English clubs’ disappointing showing in European competitions this season.

Klopp took aim at the demands placed on them and suggested the broadcasters have become “squeezers” rather than partners of the sport.  

When pressed on Liverpool’s European exit at the hands of Atalanta, Klopp responded, “But the Premier League is the best league in the world, it’s not overrated, the players are overworked – someone needs to help.”

His frustration stems from TNT Sports’ aggressive scheduling of Liverpool for Saturday lunchtime kick-offs. 

The broadcaster holds the rights to the 12:30 pm slot and has utilised it six times this season (their maximum), featuring Klopp’s Reds in the most congested period of the fixture list.

“I had a discussion with colleagues from my favourite TV channel, which I will definitely not watch again, TNT,” he revealed. 

He countered the argument that broadcasters financially support the game, “It’s the other way round. Football pays them.”

Klopp’s criticism was not only about Liverpool. He pointed out that Manchester City and Arsenal have also been knocked out of the Champions League, stating that it is a warning sign. “We have to change that approach,” he insisted.

Liverpool’s April was jampacked with fixtures. They played a jaw-dropping four games in ten days between the 18th and 27th of the month. They played eight games in 30 days.

Luckily, they had an eight-day break between their last fixture against West Ham United and the Tottenham Hotspur showdown this weekend, and Klopp used the opportunity to give his team three days off.

Whether Klopp’s outspokenness will spark a change in fixture scheduling or a broader industry shift in broadcaster-club relations remains to be seen. 

The Premier League is often touted as the best league in the world, but it will lose face on the continental stage if this trend continues. 

This year’s showing paints a worrying picture – a league renowned for its pace and intensity struggling to keep up with the tactical nous and stamina required for deep European runs.

The Premier League’s global appeal will suffer if it’s perceived as a league that peaks too early and fizzles out come springtime in Europe.

Klopp’s fiery words are a wake-up call. The Premier League needs to find a way to balance the demands of domestic entertainment with the need to prepare its clubs for European success. 

Otherwise, the crown of best league in the world might soon be up for grabs.

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