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Premier League: Pep Guardiola suggests strike action is needed to protect players

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Pep Guardiola reveals he’s decided NOT to attend Premier League meeting over the hectic festive schedule, as he claims the only way to protect players is by STRIKING… but says that won’t happen

  • Man City boss Pep Guardiola wants to protect sanctity of the Christmas period
  • He said that the player welfare problem extends far further than festive fixtures
  • Guardiola believes governing bodies do not care for the health of their players


Pep Guardiola believes Premier League players will have to organise a strike if they want tangible change to scheduling problems.

The Manchester City boss wants to protect the sanctity of the Christmas period and argued that player welfare issues extend far further than the packed festive programme.

Guardiola is exasperated at the increasingly relentless nature of every year and believes governing bodies do not care for the health of their players.

Pep Guardiola believes Premier League players will have to organise strike if they want change

Pep Guardiola believes Premier League players will have to organise strike if they want change 

‘(It) should be the players and the managers all together and make a strike… through words it’s not going to be solved,’ Guardiola said.

‘I don’t think (a strike will happen) because we want to play. But when people say more competitions, more games and more games and less holidays… we played the first two or three games without players this season.

‘Against Tottenham and the Community Shield against Leicester I didn’t have the squad. We had 10 players. Is that fair for the competition? No, it’s not fair. But they needed holidays, they need a rest for two or three weeks.

‘And now we talk about welfare for players in this moment? Everyone take a look at yourself. For FIFA, the Premier League, the broadcasters, the business is more important than their welfare.

‘The tradition from Boxing Day is massively important, it is one of the reasons why the Premier league is so special. This is not going to be changed. I do not approve to play every two days but after three days it is tradition.’

Guardiola decided against attending Thursday’s managers’ meeting, aiming a dig at some of colleagues after re-introducing five substitutions was voted down last summer.

Guardiola said that the issue regarding player welfare extends far further than festive period

Guardiola said that the issue regarding player welfare extends far further than festive period

‘All around the world they have five,’ he added. ‘Here it’s still three. Tell me one argument that takes care of players’ welfare more than this one.

‘Here, where everyone decides for themselves we didn’t do it. I know how these meetings are – everybody looks after himself. Whatever the Premier League decide with the managers will be OK.’

Guardiola has told his stars to dedicate themselves fully to their careers after Phil Foden and Jack Grealish were rebuked following a night out last week. The pair were not deemed in the correct condition to complete a recovery session a day after the 7-0 win over Leeds United.

‘In this type of career, the work you do on and off the pitch has the same importance,’ he said. ‘You have to live for your profession. All the time, every single second.

Meanwhile, City have agreed to allow Ferran Torres a move to Barcelona in a £55m-plus deal

Meanwhile, City have agreed to allow Ferran Torres a move to Barcelona in a £55m-plus deal

‘Guys that are going to live the profession every single day are going to sustain longer in it. You have to prepare and lot of players live in this way and that is why we are so consistent these last seasons.’

Guardiola also revealed that he could not stand in the way of Ferran Torres after the 21-year-old asked to leave for Barcelona in a deal that could surpass £55million.

‘When Barcelona or Real Madrid knock on the door of players then it is difficult to say no,’ he said. ‘They are still the strongest teams in the world in terms of fashion, cities and many reasons.

‘He is from Spain, Barcelona knock and I understand why he wants to leave. When he knocked on my door and said I want to leave, I said leave.’

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