THERE is an extraordinary sense of entitlement about Liverpool Football Club.
The champions of England seem to want to choose their own kick-off times, their own match officials and, by colluding with their chums at Manchester United, they even wanted to change the way the Premier League is run through the doomed 'Project Big Picture'.
This is a club used to having everything their own way.
Jurgen Klopp rarely takes it graciously when Liverpool don’t win — it’s just that for the best part of two years the Reds won so consistently we rarely got to see it.
The Liverpool boss is not used to having his opinions vigorously challenged either.
That is what made the Reds manager’s post-match interview – or argument – with BT Sport’s Des Kelly such a compelling exchange.
Klopp was ready to blow over the issue of Saturday lunchtime kick-offs, so when Kelly asked him about James Milner’s hamstring injury, the Anfield chief blamed BT.
'Dishy Des', a long-time former senior newspaper journalist, has better instincts than many TV interviewers.
Not that it can be easy to take on a major club boss, one on one, in front of the cameras.
But Kelly stood his ground and told Klopp he should ask Anfield directors to argue their corner in Premier League meetings rather than blame the broadcaster.
BT pay £9.2million for the rights to each televised match and Premier League clubs bent over backwards to get last season back on, at the height of the pandemic, so that they get their hands on TV cash.
It is therefore unrealistic to expect broadcasters to ignore the best-supported clubs, Liverpool and United, for such a prime slot.
And when a club is asked to play Champions League fixtures on a Wednesday, then again the following Tuesday, what is the ideal kick-off time for the weekend fixture in between?
Ajax, who visit Anfield tomorrow night, kicked off at tea-time on Saturday, finishing at 7.30pm — would that be any better for Klopp?
This is a unique period for fixture congestion but this is what the clubs, and football authorities, wanted — to restart last season, then rush into this campaign without any reduction in fixtures.
That isn’t the fault of any broadcaster. Indeed, Klopp is paid so handsomely, almost £15million per year, because of TV money.
Sure, Klopp is suffering from a severe injury crisis and, sure, his team had the rough end of the stick with VAR decisions — two goals (correctly) disallowed for narrow offsides and then Brighton’s injury-time penalty equaliser, which would surely not have been awarded by a referee operating with only his naked eye.
Along with fellow Champions League clubs, Klopp is arguing hard for five subs in the Premier League — and they may force a U-turn on an issue that clearly benefits those with deeper squads.
And Liverpool did get their way when David Coote was mysteriously replaced as the VAR official for last weekend’s match with Leicester after he had angered the Reds in the same role for the Merseyside derby in October.
The Premier League claim the switch was for 'operational reasons'.
Klopp may genuinely feel that the world is out to get him, or he may be attempting to develop a siege mentality.
Either way, Liverpool remain in the thick of the title race despite all their misfortunes.
And today Klopp is due to meet Kelly again for a preview of the Ajax match, also broadcast by BT. It could be lively.
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