Pep Guardiola warns Premier League players and managers could go on STRIKE over welfare issues amid Covid surge

PEP GUARDIOLA says a strike could be the only way to make the football authorities take notice of the relentless fixture list.

The Manchester City boss has been a big fan of the busy festive period since he arrived in England back in summer 2016.

However he believes the never-ending schedule which top players endure is putting their welfare at risk.

And the 50-year-old fears that action rather than words is the only way that change is ever going to happen.

He said: “This week is not too much. Boxing Day football is massively important – one of the reasons why the Premier League is so special.

“The problem is the fixtures, the calendars with 365 days a year, with international duty for the national teams, huge competitions for a lot of games, this is the problem that must be solved.

“The players have two or three weeks holiday in the summer and that’s all, then the season again and then again, and again. This is too much.

“The welfare of the players should be the most important thing and for the people.

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“But when we talk about the welfare of the players it is the only country that doesn’t accept five substitutions, just three. Just three. Why?

“It should be the players and managers all together make a strike or something because if it is just words it is not going to be solved.

“That’s because for Uefa, Fifa, the Premier League, the broadcasters, the business is more important than the welfare.”

Asked if he thinks players and clubs could go on strike to try to force a change, he said: “I don’t think so because we want to play.

“We want to continue. We want to make the people happy.

“We go to the stadium on the 26th and 27th and 29th and the 31st and 1st and play games. We love to do that.

“That is not a reason to make a strike but when you have World Cups and European Cups and Carabao Cup semi-finals two legs and FA Cups and then people say more teams in the Premier League and more games.

“It’s more games and less holidays.”

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