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Guardiola suggests players may need to go on strike to force reform over football calendar

Pep Guardiola has suggested that players may need to go on strike to force a reform over the football calendar.

Leading figures have once again expressed their concerns over player welfare, with Guardiola, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and the PFA having recently criticised the demands placed on stars amid the gruelling schedule.


Guardiola said that the football calendar is a ‘problem that must be solved’ earlier this week and has suggested that drastic action could be needed in order to force change from the authorities, saying that money is more important to the welfare of players.

“Should the players and the managers be all together and make a strike?” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference. “Just through words it’s not going to be solved.

“For Fifa, the Premier League, the broadcasters, the business is more important than their welfare.

“The simplest example is all around the world they have five substitutions; here it’s still three. Tell me one argument to take care of players’ welfare than this one? Here, where everyone decides for themselves, we didn’t do it.”

Guardiola admitted he does not believe a strike will materialise, insisting that clubs and players are keen to continue playing for the supporters.

Asked if strike action could be taken, he added: “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 1st, and play games, because we love to do that.

“I’m not saying there’s a reason to make a strike.”

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