Liverpool denied request to change Newcastle kick-off time

Liverpool have been denied a request to push back the kick-off time of their Premier League clash with Newcastle on 30 April, which is only three days after the Reds will have faced Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Kick-off against Newcastle is scheduled for 12.30pm on the Saturday, having been selected for live television broadcast by BT Sport. But that is only around 62 hours after the Villarreal game on the preceding Wednesday will finish.

Fortunately for Liverpool, the first leg is at home and not in Spain, which would have required additional travel in the already short turnaround between games.

The club had asked to move the kick-off time to 7.45pm on the same day, meaning even just a few extra hours of rest and recovery. But that is said to have been rejected.

It was revealed last May that BT Sport would no longer schedule 12.30pm kick-offs for a club that playing in the Champions League during the midweek beforehand, instead swapping any such live broadcasts for an evening 7.45pm start time. However, that change will only be implemented from the 2022/23 season onwards when the newest broadcasting contract begins.

Even though that is a positive change in terms of player recovery to the often controversial TV scheduling, that hasn’t helped Liverpool this time around.

Earlier this month, manager Jurgen Klopp spoke extremely critically on the problem of scheduling.

“Because of the success we had , we play on Saturday against City [in the FA Cup]. Then we play [Manchester] United, then Everton [in the Premier League]. Then, we have a semi-final and then BT and the Premier League thought we should have Newcastle away at 12.30," he said.

“The schedule, and how people use the fame in the moment - Liverpool is hot and everyone wants to see them - the TV stations couldn’t care less. It’s just not okay.

“If we play a Champions League semi-final, find me another league in the world and another broadcaster who would put the one team in the semi-finals on at 12.30. What?

“What are you doing? Why would you do that? That’s why it’s so difficult, that’s why [a quadruple] never happens, because nobody cares. It’s unbelievably difficult.”

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Source : 90min