Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has said he sees no reason why the final nine league fixtures of the Premier League season cannot be fitted into a 49-day window.
Reports suggest that plans for ‘Project Restart” intend for games to resume on June 12th with the campaign set to be completed before the end of July. Asked about the stress that may place on players’ bodies, Wilder replied:
“For me, you want to be out there on the pitch. We’re talking about fit young men here, athletes as everyone calls them and as they are now these days, so I don’t understand why it’s impossible. Seriously, I don’t.”
“Admittedly, it’s not ideal. But it’s not as if we are talking about it always being like this. It would be for a very short period of time so I think it should be perfectly possible.”
“These lads stay in shape, pretty much, all the time now. Obviously it will take a little while to get totally up to speed after a break but it would be like doing a mini pre-season. We’re talking about lads at their peak of their powers, who have access to all this science.”
The Blades are one of four clubs that actually have ten games still to play so the intensity of the fixture schedule will be increased even further, but Wilder is having none of it.
If the FA Cup was included, that could stretch to 13 matches in total during that period, which would average out as a game every 3.7 days.
That isn’t a great deal of rest between matches but with Premier League squad sizes, it should be possible. United should have the depth to cope with the extra workload, along with most other top-flight teams.