In light of the scheduling congestions, Jurgen Klopp has confessed that teams may struggle to field a squad of eleven players at the end of the league because of the condensed season. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a knockdown effect on the schedule this season with injuries piling up.
The lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic forced the 2019/20 season to end late and thus caused a domino effect that saw the 2020/21 season condensed into a shorter calendar. One that included international breaks, European football combined with travel and a Euro 2020(21) at the end of it all which has already seen the number of injuries rise. However, English teams, alongside many others, haven’t been helped by the scheduling conflicts which has seen teams play on Thursday and then Saturday so far this season.
It has seen many managers call for serious changes to be made with many calling for the re-introduction of the five substitutes rule to help players cope with the burden. While that hasn’t happened yet, Jurgen Klopp has begged broadcasters to get together and try to ease the burden by making scheduling a lot easier on the players. He added that if things don’t change, teams may struggle to field a team of eleven players at the end of the season.
"Everybody tells me it is difficult but it is really difficult for the players. The rest is just a decision on a desk in an office. If you don't start talking to BT, we are all done. Sky and BT have to talk. If we keep playing on Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 I am not sure if we will finish the season with 11 players. You stand here with the facemask, we adapt. Everything changed but the contract with the broadcasters is still 'nope, we have this so we keep this'. What? Everything changed. The whole world changed,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“I am discussing this completely calm," Klopp said to Shreeves, "but they say I talk about Liverpool. I don't, I talk about the football players out there. Yesterday, [Barcelona's Gerard] Pique - massive knee injury - today maybe [Arsenal's Bukayo] Saka, I'm not sure but it looked like a knee injury. He played all three games for England in the international break. People tell us to rotate but who? We have offensive players we could rotate but the rest are kids."