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Opinion

Club v Country refusal to back down is crazy for Newcastle United and rest of Premier League

2 weeks ago
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Looking at the scheduling for the Premier League and international football, it is like the virus never happened…

Absolutely crazy the way that the authorities are ‘planning’ this first full season after the impact of the virus situation.

Zero allowances made in the scheduling for this new season, indeed it is looking even more crowded, with just as many (more?) games as usual but to be played in less time!

The problem is, everybody is out for themselves (what’s new!), trying to protect and strengthen their position, working against each other rather than working together. You have UEFA with their competitions (Europa League and Champions League), the domestic leagues, the domestic cups, the national sides…

A perfect example of the lunacy at play is illustrated by the games that will have been played by the middle of next week, before the next round of Premier League matches.

So far, 16 Premier League clubs have played eight matches, indeed there are four, Man Utd, Aston Villa, Burnley and  Man City, who have played only seven PL games so far.

Quite amazingly, if you look at this national side schedule, these are the England matches that will have been played before 21 November:

Saturday 5 September – Iceland 0 England 1

Tuesday 8 September – Denmark 0 England 0

Thursday 8 October – England 3 Wales 0

Sunday 11 October – England 2 Belgium 1

Wednesday 14 October – England 0 Denmark 1

Thursday 12 November – England v Republic of Ireland

Sunday 15 November – Belgium v England

Wednesday 18 November – England v Iceland

I’m sorry but this is plain crazy.

Since the start of September, it was possible for somebody to play more internationals for England than Premier League games for their clubs!

It is not just England either, for pretty much all European countries the number of internationals have been the same.

Fabian Schar this week said how crazy it was and that the players weren’t taken into consideration.

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He made particular reference to how daft it is that unnecessary friendlies have been fitted in for no good reason, Switzerland playing in one tonight against Belgium, England have a friendly against Republic of Ireland on Thursday after one against New Zealand was cancelled.

Why? Why give players all these extra no value matches and unnecessary extra travel, especially during this virus situation?

There is a lot of talk about loads more injuries at the moment, little surprise, especially when many of the better players are also playing European football, as well as Premier League and internationals.

For me, they should have cancelled international football during this 2020/21 season, giving club football its best chance of bouncing back successfully with the virus situation still hanging very much over us.

At the very least, why haven’t they halved the competitive fixtures, the Nations League is just friendlies basically anyway, so why not just play each other once, without fans in stadiums it makes even more sense.

The same with Champions League and Europa League, personally I would have scrapped them for this season (what do I care about them anyway, when I support Ashley’s NUFC?) but at very least why haven’t they changed it to the old knockout formula rather than leagues? Well we all know why, money!

So many competing competitions, so many matches, so much greed.

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