Liverpool’s grounds staff have apparently sparked a demand for the Premier League to review their regulations on half-time pitch maintenance, after the Reds’ team only cleared snow away from one half of the pitch during their 1-1 draw with Leicester City last Wednesday.
With the game delicately poised at half-time following Harry Maguire’s stoppage time equaliser for the Foxes just before the break, the Liverpool grounds staff proceeded to clear snow off the field – but only in the half the Reds would be attacking for the next 45 minutes. In the end, the game remained level, but the incident has not gone unnoticed by other Premier League teams.
Liverpool going for the marginal gains by only clearing snow from the side of pitch they are attacking, will they be lambasted as much as Bielsa was? 樂
— Lynsey Hipgrave (@lynseyhipgrave1) January 30, 2019
According to the Liverpool Echo, the club didn’t break any Premier League rules with their actions, with a perhaps neglect for sportsmanship their only crime. Klopp laughed off claims of chicanery from the club, contending that there weren’t enough staff on hand to clear the whole playing surface in the 15 minute interval.
The report suggests that a number of sides are concerned they could end up in a similar position to Leicester, and are eager for the English top tier to adjust their rules for the 2019/20 season to ensure that a home side can’t gain the upper hand by neglecting half of the field in their maintenance work.
Rule K23 of the Premier League regulations states: “In order to protect the pitch, unless otherwise mutually agreed between both participating clubs, the following procedures shall be adopted by players and officials in the periods immediately before and after a league match and at half-time.
“The home club may water the pitch at half-time provided that it gives reasonable notice to the referee and the other club that it intends to do so and that any such watering is carried out evenly over the entire length and width of the pitch.”
Meanwhile, Klopp has claimed that he doesn’t feel nervous ahead of the Premier League title run-in, claiming that he remained fully composed in the build-up to his first Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund. The charismatic coach said he’d his side were going to remain focused on themselves, and had been through more tense situations in recent seasons.