Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has suggested players may need to threaten a strike to sort the issue over welfare, while the Professional Footballers Association has said its members could back industrial action.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and his club captain Jordan Henderson have spoken out about the workload demanded of players, while Southampton coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has said the packed festive schedule will lead to injuries.
Guardiola has now added his voice to concerns over scheduling - albeit he is in favour of the festive programme remaining in place in England - and said strike action may be the only thing that will get attention.
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“If the players and managers come together and make a strike or something... just words won't solve anything,” Guardiola said at a press conference on Thursday. “UEFA, FIFA, the Premier League, the broadcasters, the business is more important than the welfare.
"Simple example is the five substitutions. Tell me one argument to take care of welfare of the players than this one. Here we don't do it.
"We have to discuss that. If they decide, it's not necessary for them to do it. If we talk about the welfare, if it's just for the players, the association of players they say okay we don't play anymore until you solve this.
"Maybe we need a strike for people to take attention. If broadcasters and Premier League and the rest take decisions on behalf of the welfare of the players, it's not going to happen.
"No I don't think [it will come to a strike], we want to play, make it happy for people over December 26, 27, 29, 31 and play games. We love to do that. I'm not saying a reason to do a strike. But when people say World Cups, European Cups, Carabao Cup semi-finals, two legs, FA Cups and Premier League, more teams, more games and less holidays.
"It's not fair. Why? Because they need holidays. Do we talk about welfare for players in that moment? No. It's a problem my friend."
City kick off their festive programme at home to Leicester on December 26, before travelling to Brentford on December 29 and a trip to Arsenal on January 1.
In the wake of Guardiola’s comments, the PFA has issued a statement suggesting strike action would have the backing of the majority of its membership.
In a statement issued to the Mail, PFA chief executive Maheta Molango said: “I’ve spoken with many senior players on this issue. 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.”
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