Dalglish: Schedule disgraceful

In an unprecedented move the Reds boss has warned fans they should

carefully consider whether to buy a ticket for the match at

Stamford Bridge as he does not want them to be short-changed if he

goes through with his plan. Dalglish is unhappy that his side will

have to play matches against two of their biggest rivals within

just over 48 hours of each other. Liverpool host Premier League

leaders Manchester City on Sunday November 27 in a 4pm kick off for

live television and must then go to London for their Carling Cup

quarter-final the following Tuesday. “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?” questioned the Scot. “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. “I’d be

interested to know what the sponsors think of the situation and

what it does for the reputation of the competition. “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 Football League have defended the

scheduling, stressing other events in the capital – including

Tottenham’s Europa League game and a Trades Union Congress march –

and a lack of viable alternative dates left them with no choice.

Dalglish is unconvinced another solution could not have been found,

however. “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,” added the Reds boss

on liverpoolfc.tv. “It seems totally irresponsible as well that the

quarter-finals are scheduled in the same week as Europa League

games. “It’s understandable with the Spurs v PAOK Salonika 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.

“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.” Football League chiefs have defended the scheduling

of the tie, insisting there were no alternatives which would not

have created other issues. “The Football League has been engaged in

lengthy discussions with clubs, the Premier League and the

Metropolitan police regarding the scheduling of the two Carling Cup

quarter-final ties due to be played in London in the week

commencing November 26,” said a spokesman. “This followed

confirmation that the matches could not be scheduled on the night

of Wednesday, November 30 due to the TUC rally taking place in

central London that day. “Despite extensive efforts, no alternative

solution could be found that was acceptable to all parties.

“Therefore the only remaining option was to schedule the match

during the week reserved for the competition on the only available

day.” Liverpool even tried to bring their Premier League fixture

with City forward to buy themselves some breathing space. “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,” said

Dalglish. “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.” Although the

live screening was an issue there were other factors taken into

account by the Premier League, such as the inconvenience to fans

who had already made travel plans and other arrangements.