Top Stories

Premier League sanctions fixture change; scraps matches between Boxing Day & New Years

The holiday spirit won't be the same in the Premier League during the upcoming 2022-23 season as fixture changes are set to be introduced between Boxing Day and the New Year.

As reported by the Telegraph's Tom Morgan and John Percy, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the catalyst for the alleviation of fixture congestion during the usually hectic holiday period in the top flight of English football.

"Telegraph Sport understands the Premier League will announce in its club fixture lists on Thursday that its festive calendar will now only include Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, and Jan 2."

With the final of the World Cup set to unfold in Doha just eight days before the set of normal fixtures that would usually go ahead on 28 December, those matches have been scrapped in a bid to give players enough time to recover from the rigors of a major mid-season tournament.

The Football League fixture list will also see changes to its normal calendar, with the Christmas period now also including just three matchdays between 26 December and 1 January.

These changes will no doubt be met with applause from both club and national team bosses alike, with the likes of Jürgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, and England manager Gareth Southgate all speaking out this season regarding the demands placed on top players in the Premier League.

Southgate recently said "I think it’s manageable but the demands on the players are huge, and I think we are all conscious that we can’t keep adding to the calendar," while both Klopp and Guardiola led the charge last season regarding player protection.

Star Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané were tracked at logging 112,000 air travel miles last season between club ad international commitments, and many players that ply their trade under high-octane tactical coaches could really feel the burn if their workloads reach a critical breaking point should they be called upon to represent their respective nations in Qatar.

It is unclear whether or not the Premier League could adopt this stance moving forward apart from the upcoming 2022-23 league season, but it is clear that players must be allowed the right recovery time moving forward in order to avoid physical burn out as well as a continued uptick in the number of injuries across the league.

Related Content