Premier League 2019-20: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp unhappy with season start date

Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah (left) and Roberto Firmino
Salah and Firmino only returned to the Liverpool squad on Monday

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says it "doesn't make sense" that the Premier League starts before other leagues.

The Reds kick-off the English top-flight season when they host Norwich City on Friday, 9 August.

The top divisions in Germany and Spain start a week later, and Italy's Serie A on 24 August - the leagues all have 20 teams, bar Germany's Bundesliga (18).

"I don't know why we start that early," said Klopp, whose side play Manchester City in Sunday's Community Shield.

The Premier League declined to comment but, in terms of the general football schedule, it takes into account Fifa international dates, Uefa dates, and the FA and EFL Cup dates with a draft schedule then put to the clubs for ratification.

The Premier League has also introduced a short winter break in February for the first time this season.

Fifpro - a global players' union - says the health of top footballers is "at risk" and has called for "mandatory off-season breaks of four weeks".

I'm not looking for excuses - Klopp

The Community Shield at Wembley, which kicks-off at 15:00 BST, will be the first of seven trophies Liverpool will challenge for this season and could mean them playing 67 games in 300 days.

The Reds' pre-season has been hampered by the late return of key players Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah because of international commitments, while Sadio Mane will come back next week after Africa Cup of Nations duty.

"I spoke to [Napoli manager] Carlo Ancelotti," said Klopp. "Italy has 20 teams as well [like the Premier League] and starts its season on 24 August.

"Kalidou Koulibaly played with Sadio at the African Cup of Nations. He has four weeks' holiday and is not even close to coming back.

"I don't know why we start that early. The Premier League is such a wonderful product. It doesn't make sense."

There will be two international tournaments next summer, with Euro 2020 and the Copa America taking place.

"I love football. From my point of view we can play each week but somebody has to think about the players and nobody is doing it," added Klopp.

"From time to time I start a discussion but then it's like 'he's looking for excuses'. I don't, especially not for me, but we have to think about these things and nobody, especially in England, is thinking about it.

"The clubs want us to go on tours. With who? We can't go alone. These are the situations."

Top Stories