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  • Liverpool'S Jurgen Klopp Says English Football 'Overworked, Underestimated'

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp says English football 'overworked, underestimated'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp launched a wide-ranging attack on the state of English football after claiming the Premier League is "overworked not overrated".

Klopp's side were one of a number of English clubs who failed to get past the quarter-final stage in Europe this season, with Aston Villa – the last team standing – looking like they will struggle to reach the final of the Europa Conference League after a 4-2 first-leg defeat to Olympiacos.

The Reds boss has been a long-term critic of fixture scheduling and the workloads put on players across the season, but as he prepares to leave the club at the end of the campaign he has let rip with his thoughts on the state of the game in England.

"Aston Villa lost last night 4-2 means that if they go out then no English team is in any European final," said Klopp.

"You will all talk about it if you don't decrease the intensity for the players. If you make of that fact that English teams are not in a final (because) we all underperformed, I am not sure about that.

"That might be in moments – us against Atalanta – but in general, I watch a lot of football all over the world and the Premier League is the best league in the world.

"That (Manchester) City and Arsenal are out in the quarter-finals, it is just not a reflection, that we are out in the quarter-finals is not a real reflection of quality but that we could not deliver on the day we had to.

"It is not overrated, it is overworked. Easy as that. You can talk about that until everyone realises that but someone obviously needs to help the people. That is a little advice from an old man on the way out."

No organisation associated with football escaped Klopp's broadside as he took a swipe at broadcasters, the Premier League, administrators and FIFA.

He laughed off the recent move to remove the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg and abolish FA Cup replays in the face of an extended Champions League campaign, which Liverpool will be playing in again after Sunday's opponents Tottenham lost to Chelsea on Thursday.

"You cut off one game. I am not sure how many more Champions League games we have next year – three? And you cut off for that the League Cup semi-final second leg and the discussion you all allow is, 'What is that? They cut off one game'," he added.

"I had a discussion only the other day with colleagues from my favourite TV channel that I definitely will not watch again, TNT, and the conversation I have is always, 'They pay you, they give money to football'. It is not like that, I see it the other way around: football pays them.

"It is not like TNT or Sky are not doing extremely well. They have to become a partner of football again and not a squeezer.

"Years ago we had four English teams in quarter-finals and then we take that and say, 'It's the quality of the Premier League' and let's make more of it but you have to change that approach.

"You always think when I speak about it it is because of our last situation, the last game (a 12h30 kick-off at West Ham) but it is a general problem.

"They dare to give us Thursday-Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday 12.30 – it's a crime! I was waiting for Amnesty International to go to them."

TNT has been contacted for comment.

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