Premier League managers put forward their concerns on fixture congestion in Thursday’s meeting with the league but it felt like they were talking to a wall, Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte said on Friday.
Both players and managers have been up in arms over player welfare with many teams playing twice in three days after Christmas while COVID-19 outbreaks have forced the Premier League to postpone games, creating a fixture pile-up.
The Premier League held a meeting with club managers and captains to discuss the match congestion but held firm on maintaining the fixture schedule.
“I have to be honest, I think that it was a meeting (where) we tried to speak. Some coaches tried to speak to ask about a solution but I think everything was decided,” Conte told reporters ahead of Sunday’s match against Crystal Palace.
“Yesterday, it was a wall. For this reason I prefer I don’t go into the discussion.”
When asked if the meeting was a waste of time, Conte said: “I think so. When you have a wall in front of you — you can speak and ask for what you want — but every decision was (already) taken.”
Spurs had a COVID-19 outbreak at the club earlier this month which led to three games in all competitions being called off and Conte said he was worried about player fatigue if those who recovered have to play twice in three days.
“It is not easy for us, it is not easy for all the teams to play after only one day, it’s not simple. You have to manage the situation very well because of the risk of losing players to injuries,” Conte added.
“We have to pay great attention, especially my team. Don’t forget we had half our squad (out) with COVID… When you get COVID, then you have to live with this situation for two to three weeks after you are finished with COVID.
“If there is someone that has a bit of fatigue, it will be very important to have a good chat with the players because we have to manage this period.”
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