Man City boss Pep Guardiola on potential “strike”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola raised the possibility of players going on strike over their welfare – but said he does not think it will happen.
Premier League clubs chose to fulfil festive fixtures at a meeting on Monday despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.
Guardiola said a strike may be the only way to get the authorities to listen.
Speaking on Thursday, he said: “Should the players and the managers be all together and make a strike, or something, because just through words it’s not going to be solved?”
But asked if things could come to a strike, 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.”
Maheta Molango, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chief executive, says the issue is not something that can be “kicked down the road”.
“I’ve spoken with many senior players on this issue,” he added. “I can tell you that it isn’t going away. Players don’t choose to speak out on issues like this without having given it a lot of thought.
“As their union, the PFA enables players to stand together. That unity gives them enormous strength.
“Now it’s up to those who run the game at all levels to begin to take this seriously, so it’s an issue that can be addressed constructively with players at the heart of the conversation.
“That has to happen now. This isn’t something that can be kicked down the road again.”
However, BBC Sport understands there is no appetite from the English Football League (EFL) to change the format of their two-legged Carabao Cup semi-finals to a one-off tie.
The removal of the second leg would mean an estimated loss of around £20m because of sponsorship and broadcasting commitments.
Premier League players and club staff returned a record 90 positive Covid-19 tests last week, and six of last weekend’s 10 fixtures were postponed.
Two of the matches due to take place on 26 December – Liverpool v Leeds and Wolves v Watford – have since been postponed, and Everton manager Rafael Benitez said…