The Football Association’s planning for the FA Cup semi-finals is “one of the most ridiculous stories I ever heard”, says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds will meet Manchester City at Wembley on 16 April. But engineering works scheduled for the West Coast Main Line that weekend mean no trains are available for fans travelling from the north west to London.
“It makes absolutely no sense,” said Klopp. “I’m not sure what the FA thought – no club from the north west will be part of the semi-finals?”
He added: “I really can’t believe that things like this can happen with all the information you have out there.”
In a joint letter to the FA, the mayors of both cities said the game should be moved from Wembley.
Manchester City secured 50 coaches to offer fans subsidised travel to Wembley, before the FA announced it was putting on free coaches for up to 5,000 Liverpool and City fans.
Each club has received an allocation of 34,000 tickets for the game.
Klopp continued: “I heard the FA – probably we’ll do it as well – put on some coaches on the road, but what is it, usually four and a half hours to London?
“It will then be 12, probably, because all the coaches are [travelling] in the same direction.
“I’m not sure when they had to decide when the semi-finals are.
“I think there would have been probably another weekend between the Champions League games [to arrange them for]. At least then all the fans could have gone to Wembley and now they can’t, or it’s more difficult.
“On the other hand, how I know our people, they will find a way. I’m just really not happy that somebody made it complicated for them. It should be easier to go and see your football team in a semi-final.”