By Carl Markham, PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he would happily sacrifice prize money for reaching the Champions League final if it meant UEFA scrapped their “ridiculous” Nations League tournament.
The Liverpool boss has long been an opponent of the tournament, which he feels adds unnecessary, extra matches into an already-congested calendar, but he had the opportunity to send his thoughts to UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin.
Ceferin contacted Klopp this week to address his concerns about the limited number of tickets the club received (19,600 in a 75,000 capacity Stade de France) for the final against Real Madrid later this month and received a surprising suggestion from the Reds boss.
“He texted me. I obviously said what I said, that there should be more tickets for our supporters,” said Klopp, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.
“I think the same explanation he gave publicly: 93 per cent of the money goes to the club and UEFA gets only a few Euros.
“I replied and said ‘OK’. It is one of those situations where there should be more information before you give answers and I cannot constantly be perfectly prepared for these kind of things but I can still have an opinion.
“I said as well in this conversation, the reason why I’m not in such a good mood when I speak about UEFA is the Nations League – I still think it is one of the most ridiculous ideas in the world of football.
“We now finish a season where players play more than 70 games easily: club games 63/64 plus international stuff which takes (some of) them to 75, which is really mad. And we continue with Nations League games with the national teams.
“I said I would prefer UEFA took more money from Champions League and kick out the Nations League again. That would be my preferred solution in the end and more tickets for the people. My personal opinion.
“Maybe I don’t have all the information but I can’t do more than give my opinion.”