Kenny Dalglish has attacked the "disgraceful" scheduling headache that has left Liverpool playing their Carling Cup quarter-final against Chelsea just 48 hours after their Premier League clash with Manchester City.
The Metropolitan Police has advised against Chelsea hosting the Carling Cup tie on Wednesday November 30 on account of a Trade Unions Congress rally in the capital that day. The fixture has been moved forward to Tuesday November 29, two days after Liverpool host the Premier League leaders.
"It is disgraceful in this day and age that players are being asked to play a key Premier League game and then a League Cup quarter-final in London just 48 hours later," Dalglish told the club's official website.
"It's understandable with the Spurs v PAOK Salonika match and the TUC rally that the Met Police have said that our game cannot be played on the Wednesday. But it's surely the duty of the football authorities to think of other solutions which consider the welfare of the players and this clearly hasn't happened."
Dalglish expressed his sympathy for City, who will find themselves in the same position as they face Arsenal two days after their trip to Anfield and who, like Liverpool, have fielded strong teams in the competition when other sides have used it as an opportunity to rest first-team players.
"Here you have two clubs who have treated this competition with the utmost respect over the years and they are being treated like this," Dalglish said. "I'd be interested to know what the sponsors think of the situation and what it does for the reputation of the competition."
Dalglish also attacked the football authorities for scheduling the quarter-final ties in a week featuring Europa League action.
"It seems totally irresponsible as well that the quarter-finals are scheduled in the same week as Europa League games," he said. "If Stoke had beaten us in the last round and were through to face Chelsea then the tie gets rescheduled for another date - it's as simple as that. But when we ask the Football League to move our game to a later date, we're told it's impossible.
"Where's the logic in that? What would have happened if all four of the English clubs playing in the Europa League had got through to the quarter-finals?"
The Liverpool manager also warned Reds fans that he might be forced to field a weakened side for the Chelsea match.
"If the Football League want to devalue their own competition, that's up to them, but they shouldn't then be upset if people use these games to help in the development of young players.
"The one thing I will say to our fans is to think carefully before buying tickets for the League Cup game because we do not want them spending their money and then we decide there is no other option but to use only young players in the tie."