Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has criticised the start date of the Premier League ahead of their opener against Norwich City.
Last season’s runners-up kick off the new campaign on Friday evening, five days after their Community Shield game against Manchester City.
Does the Premier League start too early? Five things to know…
- The 2019/20 Premier League campaign kicks off on August 9th.
- Last season’s runners-up Liverpool open the season at home to Norwich City.
- But Reds boss Jurgen Klopp believes the Premier League’s early start doesn’t make sense.
- Ligue 1 also starts on August 9th, while the Bundesliga and La Liga get underway a week later.
- Serie A is the latest of Europe’s top five leagues to start, kicking off on August 24th.
Another five days later, Liverpool face Chelsea in Istanbul for the Uefa Super Cup, capping off a busy start to the season.
But by the time Liverpool have played three games, teams from three of Europe’s top five leagues will just be getting started.
Although Ligue 1 starts on the same day as the Premier League, the Bundesliga and La Liga commence on August 16th, while Serie A kicks off on August 24th.
And Klopp is unsure as to why the Premier League starts so early.
“I don’t know why we start that early,” he said.
“I spoke to [Napoli manager] Carlo Ancelotti. Italy has 20 teams as well and starts its season on 24 August.
“Kalidou Koulibaly played with Sadio [Mane] at the African Cup of Nations. He has four weeks’ holiday and is not even close to coming back.
“I don’t know why we start that early. The Premier League is such a wonderful product. It doesn’t make sense.”
The early start of the season also sees the Premier League restricted in the transfer market, with their window closing on August 8th, something Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has criticised.
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Klopp not looking for excuses
Despite his criticisms of the early start, Klopp insists he is not looking for excuses, rather keeping the welfare of the players in mind.
“I love football. From my point of view we can play each week but somebody has to think about the players and nobody is doing it,” he added.
“From time to time, I start a discussion but then it’s like ‘he’s looking for excuses’. I don’t, especially not for me, but we have to think about these things and nobody, especially in England, is thinking about it.
“The clubs want us to go on tours. With who? We can’t go alone. These are the situations.”