Jurgen Klopp namechecks Aston Villa during astonishing Liverpool rant

Jurgen Klopp has used Aston Villa's defeat to Olympiacos in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final tie on Thursday night as an example of how English sides are suffering in continental competitions because of the congested fixture schedule on a domestic level - something he attributed to rights holders and their handling of kick off times during a remarkable press conference.

Klopp, who traditionally hasn't held back when discussing TV selections and the role of broadcasters in shaping the football calendar, displayed familiar bemusement that the Reds, once again, had had to play a match at 12:30 on a Saturday - for last weekend's 2-2 draw at West Ham - just days after they lost the Merseyside derby to Everton. Klopp, who is leaving Anfield at the end of this season, believes the scheduling is having a knock-on effect.

West Ham and Liverpool both bowed out of the Europa League in the quarter finals, while Manchester City and Arsenal were also knocked out of the Champions League at the same stage of the competition. That left Villa as England's only representative in a European tournament come the semi-finals, and even that required overcoming Lille in a penalty shoot-out.

READ: Tottenham 'so far off it' as they gift Aston Villa golden Champions League chance

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Perhaps it's the schedule. The loss of one or two key members of the squad to injury certainly didn't help Unai Emery's cause on Thursday evening. They head to Greece next week needing to overcome a deficit in an environment which will naturally benefit their hosts. Klopp, judging by his most recent comments, thinks they're feeling the effects as he made his point that the players' wellbeing is at risk because of the sharp turnarounds in games.

“Seeing Aston Villa lose 4-2 last night, means if they go out no English team will be in any kind of European final, we should ask, do we decrease the intensity for the players?" Klopp questioned at his pre-match press conference ahead of the meeting with Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday.

"If no English team is in a European final, have we underperformed? The Premier League is best in the world, not overrated, the players [overworked]. Someone needs to help the people, cut off one game. Two more Champions League games next season and you can cut off League Cup semi two legs.

"I had a chat with TNT - a television show I will never watch again! - and they said they pay us to play football but I don't see it that way, football pays them. You have to become a part of football again and not just the squeezer, that is some advice from an old man on the way out. People can survive without match-days from time to time."

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