Kenny Dalglish has opted to play a youth side against Chelsea this weekend and taken the unprecedented step of telling Liverpool fans “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.”
Dalglish has been forced into the position of only have youth players available by a combination of events and the intransigence of the Premiership and television stations that air the matches. The Suprs v. TOAK match and the a TUC rally are both taking place on the same day as the men in Liverpool jerseys were to play Chelsea under a normal schedule and the Metropolitan police simply didn’t feel they had the manpower to police all the events. As a result the Reds were to be forced to play to top level match in 48 hours, a pace that Dalglish feels is absurd. Dalglish, long a critic of the top down, money first model of the EPL has opted to play his youth side in protest at the scheduling, and in order to protect his first team from injury saying: “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.
“City are in a similar position to us with their game at Arsenal.
“Here you have two clubs who have treated this competition with the utmost respect over the years and they are being treated like this.
“I’d be interested to know what the sponsors think of the situation and what it does for the reputation of the competition.
“Both ourselves and City were happy for the League game to be moved back to the Saturday. But we are told this is not possible either for TV reasons.”
The real question now is what the Football League will do about Dalglish’s protest and flagrant challenge to their authority. In my opinion, he has a point and it is crazy to play Manchester City on a Friday and then play Chelsea two days later. Surely, they could have moved the fixtures around if they were truly willing. After all, they did for Spurs during the riots.
In any event, we doubt there will be many Liverpool fans who will brave the long trip down to London if King Kenny warns them not too, but its should still be an interesting match and we wish the Liverpool youngsters the best of luck as they take on Chelsea.
Posted by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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