Petr Cech has revealed that Chelsea are “extremely concerned” about player welfare after their game against Brighton was rescheduled for later this month.
The fixture was originally going to be played on 8 February when the Blues are set to travel to UAE for the Club World Cup.
Due to this the contest was moved to Tuesday 18 January with Chelsea now set to play three games in seven days, having already navigated an extremely congested festive fixture list.
In a message posted on the club’s website, Cech heavily criticised the Premier League’s decision.
“Everybody knows these are difficult and unprecedented times, in football and in life more generally,” he began.
“The rise in Covid-19 cases in the UK, combined with injuries that are always common at this time of year, has really affected player availability at every club in the country over the past few months.
“We are no exception and it has been clear how much we have struggled in recent weeks with so many players missing through injury, illness and isolation.
“We therefore found it disappointing to hear today that our Premier League match against Brighton, originally scheduled for when we are now due to participate in the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, has been rescheduled for Tuesday 18 January when we believe there are clearly more sensible dates in that week for this fixture to be played.
“Once again, we are extremely concerned about the welfare of our players in all of this and we are puzzled why Wednesday 19 January was not considered as an alternative date seeing as this would not compromise either team as we both play our next games the following Sunday 23 January.
“We are already fulfilling fixtures with depleted squads. As it stands, we have fulfilled all of our fixture commitments to date, despite not being able to start our desired starting 11 for some games over this period in which we have been playing two games a week.
“Scheduling us to play three games in seven days means the players’ welfare, fitness and wellbeing will be severely compromised.
Cech went on to warn that the authorities risked pushing players too far if action was not taken to lessen their workload.
“We have to realise that we are pushing the players now beyond their limits,” he wrote.
“We have a huge amount of fixtures, a huge amount of minutes for players who are also dealing with the unprecedented Covid times. Every hour is crucial for a player to recover and actually limit the risk of a potential injury and keep the performance levels without being at risk.”
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