Yesterday, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson talked about the need for a stronger player’s union in response to the fixture overload that will require Liverpool to split their squad in order to play two senior matches on two continents over 24 hours.
Today, the existing union, FIFPro, made their own statement regarding Liverpool’s less than ideal situation, calling it part of an “escalating crisis” that sees the game’s best players often taking part in 50-plus matches a season with little down time.
“A large number of [players] have expressed concerns about an increase in the amount of competitions they are playing every season,” read the statement today from FIFPro, with their concerns spanning both club and country commitments.
”About half of players who have more than 50 matches per season say they feel stretched by their match schedule. We expect Fifa and other football stakeholders to address these as soon as possible to protect the health of players.”
Recently, FIFPro tracked 16 players over a 12-month period, examining training, participation in matches, and downtime while compiling medical data and it believes that for non-European players in particular the current situation is detrimental.
And when one looks at the travel schedules of Liverpool’s internationals, particularly from outside Europe, it’s not hard to see why, with already busy schedules being complicated by increasing international demands and new competitions.
Liverpool’s current issue, then, highlights a major problem. But it’s a problem that extends far beyond it. Hopefully, for the sake of the players and the game, solutions can be found—because FIFPro is right, the current status quo isn’t sustainable.