How many 12:30 kick-offs Liverpool has had in last seven years as Jürgen Klopp makes final stand

Jürgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool, is thanking the Liverpool fans at the end of the game during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at the London Stadium in Stratford, on April 27, 2024.
Jürgen Klopp has taken one final swipe at 12:30 kick-offs and the wider fixture schedule before departing Liverpool. -Credit:MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Liverpool's draw with West Ham was hugely disappointing. It ended the last vestiges of hopeful title dreams, confirming that Jürgen Klopp will not get his fairytale ending.

Then again, it was somewhat fitting. This was Klopp's last ever 12:30 kick-off in the English game, and in a way it was only right that Liverpool labored to a draw against mid-table opposition.

The lunchtime slot has been the bane of Klopp's existence throughout his time in the Anfield hotseat. It's not so much the time of day he objects to, but rather the fact that it often leaves tight turnarounds from midweek fixtures, giving precious little time for recovery and training.

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Freed from the burden of one last title race, Klopp really spoke his mind in the press conference ahead of the Spurs game. He had the footballing calendar in his sights, while his old foes TNT Sports — the ones who make the picks for the 12:30 games — came in for some heavy criticism in a defiant final stand.

"I had a chat with TNT — a television channel 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. They are still happy and collect subscribers but you can take me off," declared Klopp.

It's far from the first time Klopp has clashed with broadcasters. And it has to be said that he might have a point. The existence of the 12:30 slot isn't necessarily the fault of TNT Sports, but Liverpool has been uniquely affected by its fixture picks.

Data going back to the 2017/18 season shared by Michael Reid shows that Liverpool has had comfortably the most 12:30 games in that period. Klopp has had to send his players out at lunchtime 37 times, of which 27 have been away from home.

In other words, Liverpool has been given more away 12:30 kick-offs than Arsenal (just 21) has been given in total. Tottenham is closest to the Reds' overall tally, playing 32 times in the early slot, while Manchester City is next up on 30. says: This is clearly unfair. It's little wonder Klopp has been so aggrieved by the 12:30 kick-offs, which have put his side at a tangible competitive disadvantage.

Then again, you get the feeling Klopp would have spoken out about the issue even if Liverpool had not been the side worst affected. After all, he took aim ahead of a Spurs game that's set to be played on a Sunday afternoon, and cited Aston Villa's tired performance in Europe in midweek as evidence that the English schedule was inhibiting its teams' ability to succeed.

Time will tell how Arne Slot gets on with the 12:30 games. But unless there's a big change of heart, it seems the next Liverpool manager will have to get used to them.