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'I wouldn't give a sh*t how tired I was' - Klopp branded a 'disgrace' for playing Liverpool's kids in FA Cup

23:08 GMT+4 27/01/2020
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2019-20
The Liverpool manager has been heavily censured by Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt, who also said that his stance was 'pure selfishness'

Jurgen Klopp has been called "a disgrace" by Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt over his pledge not to field Liverpool's first team in their FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town.

The Reds have seen their already hectic schedule compounded after a much-changed side were held to a 2-2 draw at New Meadow on Sunday, setting up a rematch on February 4.

With the date falling in the midst of his team’s mid-season break from the Premier League, Klopp expressed his subsequent exasperation at seeing Liverpool’s rest period trimmed from a fortnight to 11 days.

"I said to the boys already two weeks ago that we will have a winter break, which means we will not be there," the German said, confirming his first teamers would not be included for the tie.

"You cannot deal with us like nobody cares about it. I know that it's not very popular but that's the way I see it.

"The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break. That's what we do. If the FA doesn't respect that, then we cannot change it. We will not be there."

Klopp added that "[it] will be the kids who play" and confirmed that under-23s coach Neil Critchley would be in the dugout. Critchley presided over Liverpool's 5-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup back in December after another scheduling clash meant that Klopp and the first team were in Qatar for the Club World Cup.

Klopp has been an outspoken critic of fixture pile-up over the last few seasons and has long called for a winter break for the Premier League.

In a series of tweets, however, Stanley owner Holt strongly criticised the 52-year-old’s stance, launching an expletive-filled tirade against the Champions League-winning manager.

"He's a disgrace," Holt said. "I'll never understand why top clubs and top Premier League players don't stand up and stay united with clubs and players further down the pyramid. This is pure selfishness of the highest degree.

"I'd drag myself out of bed to play the replay. Because it's the right thing to do. I wouldn't give a sh*t how tired I was. I'd do the right thing. I'd give a bit back instead of being a grasping, selfish type.

"We spoke about the FA Cup and how top Premier League [clubs] would rather be playing exhibition matches in China building their profits and brands. That's why the FA were considering significantly increasing the first prizes far more than the earlier rounds proportionately.

"We have only just given up 5th round replays. They're back for 4th round replays. They join in the 3rd [round].

"Jurgen, @LFC, you're embarrassing yourself. You're tarnishing your reputation. Rethink where you go from here. You're killing the FA Cup. There's calls to kill the Carabao Cup. You're killing us."

For lower-league sides like Shrewsbury and Accrington, the domestic cup competitions represent a vital source of income in terms of prize money, gate receipts and matchday earnings. Holt also stated that it was "unfair" on Shrewsbury's players and fans.

"The FA are bending over backwards for the Premier League," he went on. "It is their fault. They should know: 'Give them an inch and they'll take a mile'.

"The bigger issue is @LFC undermining the success enjoyed by @shrewsweb who DESERVE their day in the sun and a proper pay day."