Belfast Telegraph

Jurgen Klopp asks Sky to consider implications of Christmas Eve scheduling

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called on Sky to seriously the consider the implications of scheduling a match on Christmas Eve which he believes fans will have no appetite for.

It is understood the broadcaster are considering moving the Reds' fixture at the Emirates Stadium back a day and have already made both clubs aware they want them to consider the prospect.

Klopp accepts the billions of pounds clubs accept from the television company mean they can have few complaints when issues like this arise but he does not believe the scheduling is in the greater good.

"I really cannot imagine that anyone wants to watch football on that night," he said.

"I really think it is no problem for people to be very concentrated on important nights on something other than football.

"If the supporters want to see a game on Christmas Eve then probably the television broadcaster will find a way to deliver it and obviously they've found a way already - I didn't know before the date was possible but now I know it is possible.

"If we play on December 24 I am not sure we can fight against it. We are the last ones in the this role who may have something to say about the decision.

"But Sky has then to make a decision if they really want to do this, if they really want to bring supporters onto the streets that night, if they really want to bring all the people who work for television away from home that night.

"For us it is not a normal time so if we don't play 24th we'll play the 25th or 26th. It is still Christmas for our families but not for us - we are used to it.

"But think of all the other people involved and have to go there. Maybe we will play without the media - that would be nice, just one camera."

Press Association Sport understands Arsenal are mindful of the issues hosting the match on Christmas Eve would present, both in terms of staffing at the Emirates Stadium as well as the obvious disruption for all the supporters.

Klopp has had his complaints about fixture scheduling before after they were forced to play twice in less than 48 hours over the festive period.

On New Year's Eve 2016 they hosted Manchester City at 5.30pm before heading to Sunderland for a 3pm start on January 2.

However, the Premier League's view is that clubs knew what they were selling when the latest television deal - with each live game worth £1.2million - was struck and so can have few complaints.

Sky will make the final decision, which is still some weeks off, after receiving police advice and if there are no objections on that front it is likely to go ahead.

Which is no consolation to Klopp.

"How it was in the last few years: if something not too cool is possible around fixtures then Liverpool is involved," he added.

"In this moment it would mean that we not only play on the 24th it would mean we play four games in nine days - probably the worst you can get.

"I always said the broadcaster has to consider that the wonderful thing they sell - and give a lot of monies to the clubs - depends on the quality and freshness of the players."

While that issue bubbles along in the background Klopp is currently preparing to take his side to Newcastle on Sunday, by which time they could be eight points behind the two table-topping Manchester clubs.

Liverpool have won just once in six matches in all competitions in September, which has led to some criticism.

The form of City and United, who have both won five and drawn one, in the Premier League so far has shone the spotlight on what their rivals have managed but the Reds boss insists that has no bearing on what they do.

"I am not interested in the criticism, it should not have any effect," he said.

"There are a few teams who are obviously flying. Does it mean the other teams should not try to fly also?

"Do we all have to give up and say, 'They are so good this year, oh my God, I really want to have a season ticket for Manchester - whichever stadium'.

"Or is it allowed we really try to sort our things and improve?"

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