Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called on authorities to ‘eliminate competitions’ in order to fix English footballs ‘strange’ football calendar.
The congested nature of the English football schedule has long been a source of debate, with Guardiola one of several Premier League managers to have expressed concerns over the workload placed upon top-flight players.
Despite the already packed schedule, there has even been proposals for the expansion of the Champions League, with discussions having taken place regarding the addition of even more fixtures to the European footballing calendar, football leader’s currently deliberating a change in format to the group stages or adding an additional round-robin phase.
Guardiola has now discussed how he feels congestion could be relieved over the festive period, with the Man City boss saying authorities should have fewer competitions and fewer matches, with the Guardian claiming he thinks the League Cup should be binned off.
“Eliminate competitions, take out this competition,” Guardiola said at Monday’s pre-match press conference. “So less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity. People can live without football for a while. It’s too much.
“Start the season later after the summer. We have one game a week for a long time and then, after, we start having two or three in one week. In February it is one week [playing], one week [playing], two weeks off. We have two games in two weeks then, after, we have 72 games in one week. It’s a little bit strange.”
English football’s relentless calendar has also raised concerns about its impact on the national side, with both Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford set to suffer extended lay-offs after picking up long term injuries in recent weeks.
Guardiola admits he is not surprised to see players suffer injuries during a hectic period, and sympathises with the duo who now face a race to be fit for the summer’s European Championships.
“With that number of games players break down. I’m not surprised,” Guardiola continued. “I’m so sorry for Kane and Rashford. [The authorities] should reflect on it but all the managers complained about it and they don’t care. A distance of two or three days, again and again. The players suffer.
“They want to do well. Clubs have a lot of pressure to win or qualify for the Champions League and we push and push. The body says stop, it’s enough.”