Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish launched a furious outburst at the Football League on Thursday over the "irresponsible" timing of the Carling Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, which occurs just 48 hours after their Premier League game with Manchester City.
The Anfield chief labelled the ridiculously tight scheduling as "disgraceful" and urged his club's supporters to think carefully before attending the game at Stamford Bridge Nov. 29, because he would inevitably have to blood an inexperienced squad.
The game was initially scheduled for Nov. 30, but the Metropolitan Police sought the rearrangement of the fixture because the TUC rally against public service cuts coincides with an unusual amount of high-profile football matches in the capital.
Initially Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were all scheduled to play on Nov. 30, with the latter north London playing PAOK Salonika in the Europa League.
Due to the demands placed on the police, both Carling Cup ties will now take place Nov. 29, meaning Manchester City will also have to play in London, against Arsenal, less than 48 hours after their game at Anfield.
"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," he told The Times.
"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.
"Manchester City are in a similar position to us with their game at Arsenal and it's for them to argue their case, but it is my job to stand up for the interests of Liverpool Football Club.
"Here you have two clubs who have treated this competition with utmost respect over the years and they are being treated like this.
"It seems totally irresponsible as well that the quarter-finals are scheduled in the same week as Europa League games."
He continued: "If Stoke had beaten us in the last round and were through to face Chelsea, then the tie gets rescheduled for another date. But when we ask the Football League to move our game to a later date, we're told it's impossible.
"What would have happened if all four of the English clubs playing in the Europa League had got through to the quarter-finals?
"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."
Dalglish believes the television schedules have inevitably undermined his club's efforts to progress in the Carling Cup, and the Scot warned the organisers and his club's supporters to expect a weakened side in order to juggle the demands of their pursuit of a top four finish in the Premier League.
"The one thing I will say to our fans is to think carefully before buying tickets for the League Cup game," Dalglish said. "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."