Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has taken the Government to task over their red list exemption plan.
Fully vaccinated Reds internationals visiting countries on the UK’s red list in this month’s international break will be allowed to avoid quarantine in a Government-approved hotel when they return to Liverpool, provided they adhere to strict ‘bubble’ conditions while on national team and club duty.
These include staying in a club facility – rather than at home – for a 10-day period after their return to the UK and leaving that facility just once a day to train or play.
The exemption means there will be no repeat of the row which ensued before and during the September window, when clubs collectively refused to release players.
However, Klopp believes the Covid protocols which clubs follow are so strict that there should be no need for an exemption in the first place.
“That doesn’t sound to me like a real solution,” he said.
“Brazil and Georgia and other countries are on the red list for England, but for example they are not for France, Germany or Spain. The players there can come back and play immediately. Those countries can send their players, they can come back and have the normal life.
“The players are constantly in bubbles. They are here in a bubble, they are on international duty in a bubble.
“What I really don’t like about it is that I don’t think it is properly thought through. It feels a little bit like somebody in the Government opens the door in an important office and says ‘by the way, we still have to sort the footballers’, and someone says ‘why, what is wrong with them?’.
“They say ‘they are playing in (a) red list (country) and they don’t like the 10-day quarantine hotel’, so they just say ‘let them go in another hotel then’.
“No, no, come on boys! We take people out of normal life for three weeks for no real reason. We take care of our players. They are here, they live with their families, they don’t do anything else.
“They come to training and go home. Now we have to put them in a hotel and deliver their food? It’s just not right.
“I don’t expect the Government to be 100 per cent concerned about the Premier League situation, about the need of specific players. But the Premier League has to fight for our players. That’s not the situation now.”