Jurgen Klopp's Champions League complaining has merit but Celtic have it much worse

By John McGinley

April 23, 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has taken aim at the new Champions League format, set to be introduced from 2024.

With all the talk of a European Super League this week, you’d be forgiven for missing the changes approved by UEFA at the start of the week.

We’ve discussed it on 67 Hail Hail previously if you need a catch-up.

It’s fair to say that the proposals haven’t exactly gone down well.

Players, clubs and managers have spoken out against the new format, including Reds boss Klopp. It’s one of the big stories down in England today.

He told BBC Sport earlier: “Ten games rather than six and no idea where to put them in. The only people who never get asked are the coaches, the players and the supporters.

“Uefa didn’t ask us, the Super League didn’t ask us. It’s just always ‘play more games’. The new Champions League, what’s the reason for that? Money… I have no idea how we’re supposed to deal with even more games.

“You can’t have 20 teams in a league, two cup competitions, 10 international games before Christmas – these things aren’t possible.”

Klopp has a point about new Champions League but spare a thought for Celtic and others

Fair play. Speaking out against UEFA and the cabal who make often baffling decisions about tournaments should be encouraged, but Klopp actually has it easy as a manager of one of Europe’s big clubs.

Currently Celtic have to play six games just to qualify for the group stages of the competition. Even Rangers will this summer, despite being champions of their country.

Even if you don’t win a thing in England, you could find yourself landed with a plum spot in the money-spinning groups without playing a game.

Odds are already stacked against Celtic in the Champions League / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Ballooning fixture schedules are a problem and I’m not a great fan of this new format either, but Liverpool and other cash-rich clubs have shown little concern for big clubs around the continent already struggling with the ridiculous schedule imposed by UEFA.

In fact, they have been beneficiaries of it. The current qualification format frees up more spaces for ‘bigger’ leagues. The squads that do make the groups and knockouts are naturally more fatigued after playing a 60-plus game schedule year-round.

Adding a few more games to the calendar of elite clubs is the least of football’s concern.

Unless the inevitable upcoming campaign against UEFA includes a review and revolution when it comes to qualification, I’m not really interested.

In other news, Celtic share price continues to rise in wake of British league speculation.