The pearl clutching about the sanctity of the cup is a little bit precious, and only serves to distract from the authorities refusing to address the wealth gap in the football pyramid so they can line their own pockets. All your vitriol is pointed in the wrong direction, for me.
I don't really see where the outrage comes from. It can't be playing the kids, particularly when you have Championship sides heavily rotating.
Klopp has already explained his reason for not being there -- Critch works with these players every day and knows infinitely more about them than he does. It was a decision to set the youngsters up for familiarity and, therefore, success. I don't know why people are obtusely interpreting that as he "can't be arsed." But it's telling that literally none of you were arsed when Big Sam did exactly the same thing for a Europa League tie. Or is respect only to be extended to the domestic game?
It's hard to muster 'respect' for competitions that the organisers themselves can barely pretend to respect. Liverpool have been fined more in the League Cup this season than they would have earned had they won the whole fucking thing. It's quite literally cost them money to participate in the cup. Top club privilege and all that, but where's the incentive for them to take it seriously? Seems unwise if your whole structure relies on big clubs giving a shit.
Where was the respect for the cup when the EFL decided it was totally plausible to play two games on two different continents in 24 hours? Or when the FA blocked televised coverage, despite interest from providers, for no discernible reason other than spite?
Seen a lot of people say Liverpool fans would be outraged had it been someone else. I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't give two shits if Pep had done the same thing. Primarily because he, like Klopp, has been outspoken for years about fixture congestion in this country. No matter how much they bang their heads against the wall, their concerns aren't taken seriously. This presented an opportunity to actually practice what they've been preaching. Klopp's using his platform to force change for the sake of his players, not because he thinks Shrewsbury is "beneath him."
The fact is that football has evolved, for better or worse, and the domestic competitions in this country have failed to evolve with it. That's a failure of the authorities, and the longstanding issue of wealth distribution in English football plays a massive role in that. I understand that the magic of the cup is still there for lower league teams, and I understand how important it still is for those teams. That importance is primarily financially motivated. Rather than be enraged that the manager of a football club is doing what he thinks is best for the good of his team, be enraged that the powers that be have enabled a system that forces grassroots football to rely on whatever scraps get thrown their way.
Anyway, I read something about Shrewsbury making more money from the gate despite lowered ticket prices because of a bigger turnout than usual, so that's nice if true.