Premier League bosses have been critical of the way that Premier League games were scheduled over the Christmas period.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has called it “absolutely unbelievable” that the league leaders Chelsea got more rest than the other teams.
Earlier this week Arsenal travelled to Bournemouth just two days after hosting Crystal Palace at home while most other teams that played on Saturday also had games on Monday. However, Chelsea received three days’ rest between Saturday’s match against Stoke and yesterday’s match at Tottenham.
Speaking earlier in the week Wenger said, “It is, in 20 years, the most uneven Christmas period I have seen on the fixture front. The difference in rest periods is absolutely unbelievable.”
Arsenal’s situation was made worse by Mesut Ozil’s illness and short-term injuries to Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs that forced all three players to miss Sunday’s match and limited Wenger’s ability to rotate the squad.
Before the Palace match Wenger said, “We go now into another game in 48 hours with a big handicap in our fixtures, and I have to try to find some fresh legs.”
Wenger is not the only boss to complain, Palace’s boss Sam Allardyce has also complained about the schedule saying, “I don’t know who does the fixtures, but he really needs sacking.”
However, Wenger has said that he doesn’t know if it is the Premier League that has ultimate control over the schedule or if it is the television companies that pay vast sums of money for the rights to live broadcasts.
Nonetheless he added, “But I must say on that front, some teams have a bit more luck than others. We are privileged in our job, we get a lot of money to play football and it is part of it. But sometimes it goes for you, sometimes against you.”