Advertisements
Nuno Espirito Santo took aim at the

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo slams festive fixture list and 45-hour turnaround between Manchester City and Liverpool games: ‘It is absurd, it is ridiculous’

  • Wolves have tough programme and take on both Manchester City and Liverpool
  • Two games are separated by 44 hours and 45 minutes between kick-off times
  • Nuno Espirito Santo is not happy after changes for benefit of broadcasters 
Advertisements

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has criticised the scheduling of matches over the Christmas period.

December’s televised games were released this week, with all top-flight clubs seeing changes to that month’s fixtures at the behest of broadcasters Sky Sports, BT Sport and newcomer Amazon.

Wolves’ festive programme was already tough with matches against Manchester City and Liverpool to finish 2019 but those games will now take place on December 27 and December 29 respectively – separated by just 44 hours and 45 minutes between kick-off times.

Nuno Espirito Santo took aim at the 'ridiculous' fixture scheduling in the festive period

Advertisements

Nuno Espirito Santo took aim at the ‘ridiculous’ fixture scheduling in the festive period

That represents the shortest time between fixtures for any Premier League club and Nuno described the scheduling as ‘impossible’ for his players.

‘We are the busiest team in the competition. It is absurd, it is ridiculous. Wolves are the team that has more games already and then we have to face this absurd schedule of 45 hours between games,’ said Nuno, whose side began their season in July with Europa League qualifiers and will play their 18th match of the campaign when Southampton visit Molineux on Saturday.

‘I keep thinking about it and I come to the same conclusion – it is absurd. The people who decide don’t have a real idea of the physical impact on players during a game. This is too much.

‘Protect the players because they are the main protagonists of football and we must protect them. Forty-five hours is impossible. It is impossible. It is impossible to play 45 hours after another game – impossible.

Wolves are preparing to take on Southampton having beaten Manchester City last time out

Wolves are preparing to take on Southampton having beaten Manchester City last time out

Wolves are preparing to take on Southampton having beaten Manchester City last time out

Advertisements

‘I don’t understand it, it doesn’t make sense – for all the Premier League teams. I’m not the only manager speaking about this. Us as managers – someone should listen to us.’

Nuno insists the clubs were not consulted ahead of the changes and the Portuguese invited representatives of the television companies to Wolverhampton to explain their thinking behind the decision-making process.

‘I hope someone from Amazon and Sky and BT comes and gives me an explanation,’ he said. ‘I would like someone to explain to me the why. To come and say we decided Wolves will play this way because of…

‘If someone is reasonable enough to come down here and visit and tell me the why and if this why is reason then I will understand it.

The manager has only 44 hours and 45 minutes for one of the turnarounds before a game

The manager has only 44 hours and 45 minutes for one of the turnarounds before a game

Advertisements

The manager has only 44 hours and 45 minutes for one of the turnarounds before a game

‘Forty-five hours is absurd. No-one came and said ‘we are thinking of this, what is your opinion?’ Nobody did that. Nobody asked us that. It was this is the fixtures and they made them public. Nobody consulted us.’

Asked if broadcasters were becoming too powerful in football, Nuno added: ‘But broadcasters need players. People go to the stadium to see players – players they love.’

Wolves will check on the fitness of Diogo Jota (toe), Neto (foot), Romain Saiss (hamstring), Morgan Gibbs-White (back) and Leander Dendoncker (stomach) ahead of Southampton’s visit.