Jurgen Klopp’s unused Leeds United programme notes show his thoughts on COVID and Premier League scheduling

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Jurgen Klopp wrote his programme notes for the Leeds United game, before the game was called off due to the large number of COVID cases within Elland Road.

Our boss writes a message in each Anfield programme where he shares his thoughts on the current situation surrounding the game at hand.

The combination of COVID and Premier League scheduling were high on the agenda for the German as he wrote his most recent article, before the game was subsequently postponed.

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The 54-year-old said: ‘I will avoid further commentary on wider societal issues but I will speak on the football calendar.

‘I know before I even say any of this there will be those who will dismiss me as a moaner. “There he goes again!”.

‘Sorry, but I won’t stop speaking up for the wellbeing of the players. I think it goes beyond that, by the way. I think it’s about showing respect to the commitment of the supporters and the integrity of the competition itself. But as a leader of this group their welfare is my first priority.

‘It needs saying because nothing changes. Even now, with COVID gripping the Premier League, we don’t change. Honestly, I think this is shocking. Awful.

‘Let me be clear, there are absolutely bigger problems in the world and we are so lucky to do what we do and get the rewards we do. But this is a football problem, I am a football manager and we must talk about it.

‘Recovery-time matters. Rest matters. Preparation matters. For body and mind. It mattered before we lived with COVID but, in this time, we have to think again urgently. We have to.

‘And this is not just a Liverpool issue. Far from it. It impacts a lot of clubs and a lot of players. For me, it impacts the competition. How can a game, taking place within two days of the previous one, be of the quality we expect in this league? That’s aside from the welfare issue and the potential for physical harm for our athletes.

‘I want to be clear – and my assistant Pep Lijnders made the same point really well in the media earlier in the week: I love working in the Premier League, I love working in England. The intense nature of the competition is what makes it so compelling. And when you come to work here you take onboard it’s a relentless schedule.

‘But for me at least there is a big difference between intense and relentless, which is fine, and irresponsible to welfare, which is not.’

It’s clear that the former Borussia Dortmund boss is not a fan of the unnecessarily hectic festive period, the game against Leicester City coming two days after the now postponed match does seem highly avoidable.

Two games in three days in not needed and the only ‘tradition’ in England is for a Boxing Day match but not many people hold the 28th of December game too close to their hearts.

It’s a very fair point made by our boss that will be lost in time, given the cancellation of the game.

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