Anfield boss unhappy about fixture scheduling.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has told fans to question whether to buy tickets for the Carling Cup quarter-final against Chelsea as he may be forced to field a youth team.
The Scot launched a blistering attack on the “disgraceful” fixture scheduling which will see his side play two matches in 48 hours.
The Reds face Manchester City in a 4pm kick-off on Sunday November 27 before travelling to London for the League Cup clash with Chelsea the following Tuesday.
Despite attempts to have one of the matches rescheduled the club’s efforts have fallen on deaf ears.
Now Dalglish has taken the unprecedented step of warning fans they should consider whether or not to buy tickets for the cup tie as he may field a youth team at Stamford Bridge.
“It is disgraceful in this day and age that players are being asked to play a key Premier League game and then a League Cup quarter-final in London just 48 hours later,” he told the club’s website.
“It’s understandable with the Spurs v PAOK Salonika (Europa League) match and the TUC rally that the Met Police have said that our game cannot be played on the Wednesday.
“But it’s surely the duty of the football authorities to think of other solutions which consider the welfare of the players and this clearly hasn’t happened.
“When we ask the Football League to move our game to a later date, we’re told it’s impossible. Where’s the logic in that?
“If the Football League want to devalue their own competition, that’s up to them, but they shouldn’t then be upset if people use these games to help in the development of young players.
“The one thing I will say to our fans is to think carefully before buying tickets for the League Cup game.
“We do not want them spending their money and then we decide there is no other option but to use only young players in the tie.”
The Scot said the club had tried to bring their league match forward but had been told it was impossible because their Sunday clash at Anfield is due to be televised.
“Manchester City are in a similar position to us with their game at Arsenal (on the same night) and it’s for them to argue their case but it is my job to stand up for the interests of Liverpool Football Club,” the Reds boss added.
“Both ourselves and Manchester City were happy for the league game to be moved back to the Saturday so we both had proper time to prepare but again we are told by the Premier League that this is not possible either for TV reasons and just to get on with it.
“Ian Ayre (Liverpool’s managing director) specifically consulted with the Premier League, who had some discussion with Sky, but neither were able to accommodate our position.”
Dalglish believes the Football League, who organised the Carling Cup, have shot themselves in the foot with the scheduling.
“Here you have two clubs who have treated this competition with utmost respect over the years and they are being treated like this,” he said.
“I’d be interested to know what the sponsors think of the situation and what it does for the reputation of the competition.
“It seems totally irresponsible as well that the quarter-finals are scheduled in the same week as Europa League games.
“If Stoke had beaten us in the last round and were through to face Chelsea then the tie gets rescheduled for another date – it’s as simple as that.
“What would have happened if all four of the English clubs playing in the Europa League had got through to the quarter-finals?”