Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Gary Neville after the pundit claimed that the Liverpool boss was looking for an advantage with his calls to consider player welfare.
Klopp has spoken out strongly on several occasions about the impact that the contracted season is having on players.
Players at the likes of Liverpool have played three times in most weeks this season after the campaign began in September. But Klopp has been further angered at broadcasters for, in his view, failing to make the schedule easier.
What’s more, he has called for the Premier League to allow teams to make five substitutions to protect players.
Gary Neville recently claimed that, as a manager of a top team, the German was naturally looking to get an advantage for his players.
However, in his latest press conference, Klopp hit back at the former Manchester United full-back.
“We cannot just ignore it because some people say it would be an advantage for others because it’s not about an advantage,” the manager said. “I cannot say it often enough.
“I heard now that Gary Neville said… I can’t remember exactly what he said but it’s not about Liverpool. Whatever he thinks, maybe it’s how he would deal with the situation.
“But he cannot think and should not think that I am like him because I am not like him. I speak about all the players and not only the Liverpool players.”
But that was only one segment of Klopp’s fresh rant on player welfare that lasted over five minutes. He was initially probed on a recent Premier League shareholders’ meeting, in which implementing five substitutions was not on the agenda.
Klopp said that it posed a grim sign for those teams who had previously been in favour of the change.
Klopp on recent shareholders’ meeting
Asked about the omission, Klopp said: “I was not surprised because I knew about it and I think that information speaks for itself.
“Nobody thought it would go through, I told you about the fact that in a manager’s meeting, if we would have voted that day, which we were not allowed to, then it would have come through with 15 or 16 votes.
“That it didn’t happen since then is obviously a sign that some CEOs and shareholders see [the issue] differently to their managers. That’s not a really good sign because it shows that these people absolutely ignore the player welfare.
“The coaches don’t do that and these people do. That’s not ok, but if you don’t have a chance to vote for it then you have to accept that.
“But because it’s about player welfare and mental health – the full package – we will not stop fighting for it.”
Liverpool return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Wolves at Anfield. Two thousand home supporters will return to the stands for the first time since March.