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Premier League: managers and players prepare to express their frustrations at an intense festive schedule amid the chaos of Covid-19

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Premier League: managers and players prepare to express their frustrations at an intense festive schedule amid the chaos of Covid-19

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The Premier League will hold separate meetings today with managers and captains amid opposition to the controversial decision to continue with the current list of high profile fixtures during the Covid-19 crisis.

Suspending a series of matches or stopping the season altogether were the options discussed, but a majority of clubs were in favor of continuing to play and no options were put to the vote.

The Premier League want to continue as planned “as long as it can be done safely” and clubs have been told they should be ready to play if they have 13 players available, including a goalkeeper.

Some believe continuing amid a record number of positive tests puts safety at risk.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has insisted his extended squad simply cannot meet the demands currently placed on them as he has stressed the importance of the well-being of the players.

“I’m not just talking about the well-being of the players this year, I’ve been talking about it for six years or maybe more,” he said after the thrilling penalty shoot-out victory in the Cup quarter-finals Carabao Wednesday against Leicester.

“If the things I say could help more, I would say it a lot more often. But it doesn’t help.

“The only thing I do with these messages is create headlines. They never get to the right places. We have a meeting at 4pm but it’s with the Premier League and not with the EFL, I don’t know whether they are involved or not. “

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson believes player welfare is not being taken seriously

/ Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea have also raised concerns.

“I don’t think people can appreciate how intense it is until you actually see it,” Henderson told BBC Sport.

“Football is everything for us and we want to be able to play at the highest level every time we step onto the pitch. And unfortunately at this time it’s difficult to do so.

“It’s been like this for a few years now and it’s been difficult but then on top of that you throw Covid and it gets even harder and even worse. I’m afraid no one is really taking the welfare of the players at the serious.

“I think decisions are made – of course we want to play, as footballers we want to go out and play – but I’m worried about the well-being of the players and I don’t think anyone takes this seriously enough, especially during this period, when Covid is there.

“We’re going to try to have conversations in the background and try to have some sort of influence in the future, but at the moment I don’t think the players are getting the respect they deserve in terms of having someone able to speak for them independently and having the power to say that it is not good for the well-being of the players. “

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