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Liverpool’s kickoff change request for Newcastle trip denied

Liverpool have failed in their bid to push back the start of their match against Newcastle on April 30, with the Premier League rejecting the request.

The Reds are to meet Eddie Howe’s in-form Newcastle on Saturday, April 30, a match that sits between the two Champions League semi-finals against Villarreal.

While the day of the match itself is not an issue for Jurgen Klopp‘s side, it is the early 12.30pm kickoff on BT Sport that posed the issue.

Handed the Wednesday-Tuesday schedule in Europe, the early kickoff means Liverpool will have less than 63 hours between the final whistle at Anfield and the first at St James’ Park.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 16, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Newcastle United's manager Eddie Howe fist bump after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It led the club to request the kickoff time against the Magpies be pushed back to 7.45pm on the same day, but no such leeway has been granted to Liverpool – as reported by David Lynch.

It is not surprising as little is often done to assist English clubs fighting in Europe, a direct contrast to Villarreal who will enjoy an eight-day break before the first leg of the semi-final at Anfield.

This is to change from next season with BT Sport agreeing not to select any club involved in a Wednesday evening Champions League game for their 12.30pm Saturday start, but it’s of little help to Klopp now.

 

What Klopp said on the issue

Prior to the FA Cup semi-final against Man City, Klopp touched on the scheduling issue:

“If you want to cause us problems you send us to 12.30 at Newcastle.

“I don’t understand it. I can understand that people want to see a football match between Liverpool and Newcastle but I don’t see why any team should have an advantage or a disadvantage.

“The league and the broadcaster really have to try at least to help. We will see. I haven’t heard anything yet. Nobody from BT contacted me yet. But I’d say common sense would tell you that it’s probably the right thing to do to move the game slightly backwards.”

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