PL facing backlash over decision to press ahead with hectic schedule
Premier League bosses are set to face furious players and managers in Zoom calls on Thursday, with many worried their health is being put in jeopardy by playing on amid surge in Covid cases
- Top-flight players and bosses are set to vent their frustrations to the Premier League over the decision to press ahead with the hectic winter schedule
- A surge in Omicron Covid cases saw the Premier League postpone games
- Players believe their health is being put in jeopardy by continuing to play on
The Premier League are bracing themselves for an outpouring of anger from players and managers on Thursday as the fall-out from the decision not to call a festive mini-break rumbles on.
Top-flight officials are set to meet captains and managers from all 20 clubs on two separate zoom calls to discuss why they have not called a short-term break to the season due to the worrying Covid surge.
As of Wednesday night, the meetings were still due to go ahead – though there has been doubt from some clubs over whether the calls would actually take place.
And it is understood players and bosses are set to use the meetings to vent their huge frustrations at the decision to press ahead with the festive calendar despite the fact the Premier League recorded 90 positive results during their last round of tests.
Personnel at a number of clubs are said to have major concerns about the scheduling this season and feel like their health is being put in jeopardy by the decision to continue playing.
The Premier League are preparing themselves for an outpouring of anger from players and managers over the decision to press ahead with the hectic festive schedule
That view is expected to be emphasised during both calls on Thursday, with the tone of the meeting set to make uncomfortable listening for Premier League officials, who pushed back against calls for a festive ‘circuit-breaker’ during an emergency meeting of all clubs on Monday.
Sportsmail has highlighted the significant concerns of players this week, with many footballers upset with their own club executives for not pushing hard enough for a Christmas hiatus.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has lobbied heavily for footballing authorities to take player welfare into account in recent weeks as Covid has grown increasingly prevalent.
Premier League players believe their health is being put in jeopardy by continuing to play on
Indeed, the German is likely to make his feelings crystal clear during today’s scheduled talks.
Similarly, his captain Jordan Henderson said yesterday that the issue of player welfare isn’t taken seriously.
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard admitted he fully understood the apprehensions of players, adding: ‘We had a situation at the weekend where one of the players was reluctant to get out of his car because he had some symptoms and he’s got a young family, and you can totally understand his view in his situation.
‘This is a guy who’s got a young family, it is Christmas time, and that’s the situation everyone is in.
Top-flight players and bosses are set to use the Zoom meetings with the Premier League this week to vent their huge frustrations at the decision
‘No-one wants to get this virus. Everyone wants to protect their own families. This is our job and your priority is always going to be your family, of course it is.
‘Thankfully he was tested after and he didn’t have a situation, but that player would not have been available for me on the day, and these are the little situations that people don’t see.
‘We’ve got a major responsibility to listen to the players and deal with every situation as it comes your way.’
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