Pep Guardiola suggests STRIKE would solve fixture ‘problem’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes a strike from players and managers is the only way to solve fixture congestion.
But the Spaniard insists it will not happen because clubs are keen to please supporters over the Christmas period.
The festive fixture pile-up has been called into question, with the COVID-19 crisis leaving squads even more stretched than usual.
Numerous managers have suggested player welfare is being ignored, while others in the game argue it is a long-standing tradition that ought to be upheld.
And Guardiola sees both sides of the argument, but insists there is only one way to change anything.
He said: “The tradition of Boxing Day in the Premier League is massively important. It is one of the characteristics, it is why the Premier League is special. This is not going to be changed.
“I would love to play in this period with lots of games. It is tradition from centuries ago. Boxing Day was so nice for families to go to the stadiums. I can imagine January 1 in London – Arsenal v Man City – it will be so nice.
“The problem is the fixtures. The calendar, 365 days a year with international duties for the national team, huge competitions with a lot of games.
“The players have two or three weeks of holiday in the summer and it’s the season again. This is too much.
“Should the players and the managers be all together together and make a strike, or something, because just through words it’s not going to be solved? For FIFA, the Premier League, the broadcasters… the business is more important than the welfare.”
Asked if he felt players really would strike, he said at a press conference: “No, I don’t think so because we want to play, we want to continue, to make the people happy going to the stadium on the 26th, 27th, 29th, 31st and first, and play games because we love to do that.
“I’m not saying there’s a reason to make a strike but (there are) more games and more games and less holidays. It’s a problem.”
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