'WHINING' Jurgen Klopp told he's blaming wrong people over 12:30 kick-off complaints

Jurgen Klopp has been accused of blaming the wrong people by Sky TV chief Mike Darcey following his most recent critique of fixture congestion and TNT Sports.

Speaking before the 4-2 win over Tottenham last Sunday, Klopp launched a brutal attack on broadcasters TNT Sports for their scheduling this season, criticising TV companies for the impact they have on fixture congestion and player welfare.

The 56-year-old has been particularly critical of playing in the 12:30 BST kick-off slot on a Saturday - something Liverpool have done with bizarre regularity this season.

Klopp is not the only manager to have lambasted the congested schedule, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola having done so recently as well, but Sky's Darcey has hit out at the Liverpool manager for his misguided rage.

SKY CHIEF BITES BACK AT 'WHINING' JURGEN KLOPP

Posting on LinkedIn, Darcey, who is the director of Sky TV New Zealand and was formerly Sky's chief operating officer, suggested that the Premier League are actually the ones to blame for the hectic fixture list.

"Jurgen Klopp is whining at the scheduling of Liverpool matches. Klopp blames TNT for picking Liverpool for the early Saturday slot, but the real culprit is closer to home," wrote Darcey.

"Broadcasters do not call the shots here. The PL  designs the packs of rights, broadcasters bid for what is offered. Pack A comprises 32 matches in the early Saturday slot. TNT pays £325m pa [per annum] for its games, delivering risk-free income for PL clubs, then tries to make a business selling subscriptions.

"Having designed pack A and taken TNT’s money, it’s a bit rich to blame TNT when they schedule games in their slot. They have no choice. The PL does impose restrictions: each PL team must feature at least once and no PL team more than six times.

Jurgen Klopp

240318 -- MANCHESTER, March 18, 2024 -- Liverpool s head coach Jurgen Klopp reacts during the FA Cup quarterfinal match between Manchester United, ManU and Liverpool in Manchester, Britain, on March 17, 2024. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR LIVE SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. SPBRITAIN-MANCHESTER-FOOTBALL-FA CUP-MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL FC LixYing PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxCHN

"Liverpool has been picked six times. Don’t like it? Fine, change the rules, but expect and accept less revenue.

"Of course it is safer for Klopp to blame a broadcaster, than blame the PL for designing the packs, or his Liverpool bosses who signed it off.

"Anyway, there’s no respite in sight. The next PL contract jumps from 200 to 270 live games, chasing more revenue, so more games will move from 3pm Saturday.

"Worse, Liverpool has qualified for the Champions League. A better strategy would be the Europa League; if you play Thursday night you can’t be picked for early Saturday."

Fortunately for Klopp, his summer exit means that he won't have to deal with TNT Sports or the jam-packed schedule any more, but the Liverpool boss is right to flag up the impact that more and more football - often poorly organised - has on professional athletes.

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