Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has admitted that he is concerned that nobody really takes player welfare seriously after Premier League clubs chose to continue playing their fixtures at a meeting on Monday, despite a surge in Covid-19 cases. The Reds will play five games within two weeks.
Liverpool played out a thrilling 2-2 encounter with Tottenham Hotspurs on Sunday even though they were without a number of key players such as Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago missing out due to positive Covid tests. Premier League players and club staff returned a record 90 positive Covid-19 tests last week, with six out of the last ten fixtures postponed.
A Premier League shareholders' meeting was held on Monday to discuss a potential postponement of a round of fixtures during the hectic festive schedule between Boxing Day and New Year. The League ultimately decided to continue the fixtures as planned as long as it was safe to do so.
During the meeting a majority of clubs favoured the option to carry on playing where it was safe to do so, while a few clubs including Liverpool wanted to postpone the whole round of upcoming Sun-Mon fixtures or next week's Tues-Thurs fixtures. Henderson has bemoaned the decision, as he revealed that it is difficult to play at the highest level during a tumultuous time like this.
“We do speak about it as players because, at the end of the day, it affects us directly. Football to us is everything and we want to be able to perform at the highest level every time we set foot on the pitch. And unfortunately, in this period it is difficult to do that,” Henderson told BBC Sport.
“That has been like this for a few years now and it has been difficult but then, on top of that, you chuck in Covid and it becomes even harder and even worse. I am concerned that nobody really takes player welfare seriously,” he added.