Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has slammed ‘lightweights’ Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Jordan Henderson for complaining about fixture congestion during the festive period.
Top-flight clubs are currently going through their busiest time of the football calendar, with several teams playing on Boxing Day, before playing again on December 28 and then New Year’s Day.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, his assistant Pep Lijnders and captain Jordan Henderson have all spoken out against the current Christmas schedule over the past week.
Simon Jordan has slammed Premier League clubs for complaining about festive games
Both Guardiola (right) and Klopp (left) have been critical of the top-flight’s festive schedule
Premier League clubs met with league bosses on Thursday afternoon to debate the current festive calendar, just as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola recommended that players should put forward the idea of a strike if they are not happy.
But former Eagles chief Jordan claims the likes of Guardiola and Klopp are ‘always making an excuse’ and described them as ‘bloody lucky’ as they would be ‘working on McDonalds’ if it wasn’t for football.
LIVERPOOL’S 2021/22 FESTIVE SCHEDULE
December 28 – Leicester City (A)
January 2 – Chelsea (A)
January 6 – Arsenal (A) (Carabao Cup)
January 9 – Shrewsbury (H) (FA Cup)
January 13 – Arsenal (H) (Carabao Cup)
January 16 – Brentford (H)
Premier League games unless stated
Liverpool’s Boxing Day clash with Leeds was postponed due to Covid
‘Enough already!’ Jordan told talkSPORT. ‘Play the bloody game, get on with being players. You are being given far too much. Most players I know actually want to play these games.
‘You hear people like Graeme Souness and David Moyes come out and saying “game after game, next one after next one” – that’s what we want.
‘I don’t know what kind of people we are breeding: but (they’re) lightweights. I can’t bear it anymore. Have some character – just power through. We accept all the upsides, take some of the downsides.
‘Football is based on a culture of people always making an excuse. Where I do agree with them – and it’s their own fault for not voting for it – is give them five substitutes. But if they get five, then they’ll want seven. And if they get seven, they’ll want ten.
‘Whatever you give people, it’s never enough. How about saying you’re doing really well? How about pinching yourself to realise how bloody lucky you are? Because if it wasn’t for football, half of you would be working in McDonalds.
‘You’re earning ten million players a year and all you do is whine about what you haven’t got.’
Klopp took issue with the current Premier League calendar amid a rise in Omicron outbreaks in squads which saw most of last weekend’s round of fixtures called off.
The German’s assistant, Pep Lijnders, described the current schedule as ‘absurd’ while skipper Henderson claimed that nobody at the Premie League ‘really takes player welfare seriously’.
Liverpool coach Pep Lijnders criticised the current festive schedule in English football
Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick wants to see the Carabao Cup scrapped
Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick put across the idea that the Carabao Cup competition should be scrapped as England is the only country out of the top leagues in the world with two domestic knockout tournaments.
Norwich City manager Dean Smith also described the 48-hour turnaround for clubs between Boxing Day and December 28 and ‘lunacy’.
As players and managers met top-flight officials on two separate Zoom calls on Thursday, they told top-flight officials that footballers are being run into the ground.
But last week, 15 out of the 20 Premier League clubs told officials they want carry on with matches despite the latest spike of the Covid Omicron variant – with the likes of Chelsea and Brentford changing their mind to support the continuation of playing.
Jordan, meanwhile, made the argument that football is mainly for the audiences and the fans and took an issue with foreign managers such as Klopp trying to dictate how football should be run in England.
Guardiola believes Premier League players will have to organise strike if they want change
Jordan Henderson is concerned that player welfare is not being taken seriously enough
He added: ‘Klopp seems to be incredibly strident, as does his assistant manager whose little nuggets we had to listen to the previous day, about how the dynamics of football in this country should be held together.
‘Everybody’s playing on an equal playing field. Everybody understands that the dynamics of it, at certain times of the year are playing for the audience.
‘This is for the audience. This is for the broadcasters and the fans that want these games in this way. I think there’s a massive pushback, and I might be wrong but I don’t think I am, that fans like this tradition.
‘Have you forgotten what puts you where you are? What puts you where you are is the demand for the game because if you didn’t have the demand for the game, you and your colleagues wouldn’t be getting paid tens of millions of pounds per year.’