Jordan Henderson has given a damning verdict on the current state of player welfare in the Premier League and believes the present situation is concerning.
The Liverpool and England midfielder spoke out on the state of player welfare in the Premier League, following the league’s announcement to fulfil and play its festive fixture schedule despite a number of games being abandoned due to outbreak’s of Covid-19 within playing squads.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Henderson said: “I am concerned that nobody really takes player welfare seriously.
“I think decisions get made – of course we want to play as footballers, we want to get out there and play – but I am worried about player welfare and I don’t think anybody does take that seriously enough, especially in this period, when Covid is here.”
During this year’s festive period, Liverpool will play five games across just two weeks, despite injuries and increasing Covid-19 cases.
Liverpool have already been forced to play without some of their key stars in this period, including Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Thiago who were all absent in The Reds 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday after returning positive Covid-19 cases. While Liverpool captain Henderson missed out with a cold.
The state of player welfare has long been up for debate among academics and fans of the Premier League, and while opinions still differ on the overall state of it, it’s easy to see that the fixture list at this time of year is particularly brutal, especially considering that other countries in Europe such as Germany have a winter break.
However, this year adds a new element into the mix into the form of rising Covid-19 cases across playing squads.
A ‘circuit breaker’ set of fixtures was proposed to the Premier League amid a record-breaking number of Covid-19 cases that saw six out of 10 fixtures postponed last weekend. But following a Premier League shareholders meeting this idea was rejected.