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Pep Guardiola: Man City boss raises prospect of strike but does not think it would happen

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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.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson told BBC Sport earlier this week he was “concerned” that “nobody really takes player welfare seriously”.

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, Xpooze Global News 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 he could not understand why his side’s match will still take place.
In an interview with BBC Sport, Liverpool captain Henderson said: “I don’t think people can appreciate how intense it is until you actually see it first hand.
“Football to us is everything and we want to be able to perform at the highest level every time we set foot on the pitch. And unfortunately, in this period it is difficult to do that.
“We will try to have conversations in the background and try to have some sort of influence going forward, but at the minute I don’t feel the players get the respect they deserve in terms of having somebody being able to speak for them independently and having the power to say actually this isn’t right for player welfare.”
Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders said on Tuesday the schedule was “absurd”, while Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he is having to take “huge risks” with his players’ fitness.

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