Thanks to COVID-19 players only had a six-weeks to rest after the 19/20 season.
We’ve seen the shortest break between seasons in history, and now find ourselves in the midst of the biggest injury crisis in the Premier League era.
This doesn’t look like it’s letting up either, especially for clubs with a plethora of international players (like most Premier League clubs) out injured.
The majority of Premier League sides currently have 5+ players on the injury list, contributing to the highest amount of injuries we’ve seen at this time of the campaign.
We have seen close to twenty fewer matches played in comparison to this time in previous years.
Managers’ frustration at competition & TV scheduling management continues
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp is the latest in the line of Premier League managers who have expressed their disapproval at the fixture schedule.
For Klopp and others games are being played at a furious pace, making it a managerial nightmare, compiled by the impact of the pandemic.
“If someone tells me again about contracts I will go really nuts because the contracts were not made for a Covid season.” Argued Klopp during a post match interview with Sky Sports.
“You stand here with the facemask, we adapt. Everything changed but the contract with the broadcasters is still ‘nope, we have this so we keep this’. What? Everything changed. The whole world changed.”
Like many other managers, Klopp gave an impassioned interview in the wake of yet another injury vs. Brighton, increasing the total number of injured senior players which was already in double figures.
The Premier League is now the only English professional league and the only major top tier league to have not implemented the five substitution rule for the current season.
It is getting clearer and clearer that it is not the Premier League running the league, but the sport broadcasters. and the Premier League are sitting there in an implicit collusion because of the pay package coming in despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The people who are going to lose out the most, will be the managers and the players. Inexplicably some pundits (namely Match of the Day pundits) think otherwise.
Knock-on effects for next summer
The major five European leagues conclude on the weekend of Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd May, the delayed Euros are due to start less than three weeks later, one week short of what was afforded to players for the previous edition of the tournament.
This is making what has ultimately been a full season condensed into thirty days less, now being compounded by the Euros in 2021, followed by the World Cup in 2022 (currently still due to take place in Qatar).