Premier League managers such as Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp have been leading the fight for player welfare reforms, specifically around the festive schedule, but the Arsenal boss claims he isn’t being listened to amid lucrative TV contracts

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Arsenal’s 2021 in review

Mikel Arteta has warned the Premier League has made it “impossible” to look after player welfare.

Arsenal boss Arteta says he spoke up on the managers’ meeting after becoming frustrated at what he sees as trying to juggle looking after players with an unforgiving fixture schedule.

But Arteta admitted he felt like he was wasting his time because league bosses had already made up their mind as they look to try and protect lucrative TV contracts.

Arteta said: “We had a managers’ meeting where we tried to expose our feelings and the situation but the decisions are already made so now we’re not going to change that.

“What I basically said was that we are discussing two things: the welfare of the players and the integrity of the competition. In this situation, I think we are wasting our time trying to accomplish both things.







Mikel Arteta doesn’t think the Premier League are listening to his concerns
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Image:

Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

“People then say we have to use common sense. Common sense in this situation, again, doesn’t work. So whether we change the rule or the testing, or whatever we change we cannot continue to try and achieve both of those things. It’s impossible.”

Arsenal were due to play Wolves less than 48 hours after their trip to Norwich on Boxing Day but the game was postponed after a raft of positive cases at Molineux.

But the frustration among several managers is the uneven spread of games in this match round where some clubs get a longer break than others.

That has been done to enable Amazon to show as many games as possible because Premier League chiefs wanted to make the package as attractive for TV rights.

Arteta added: “We play in England, in England you have to play every two to three days in the Christmas period. Ideally, if everyone played within the same congestion of fixtures it would be much better but the circumstances now are not the normal ones.”

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