Ex-Fifa official: Liverpool could form big-six alliance as FA plan confirmed
Liverpool and the rest of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ could block the FA’s attempts to try and alter the schedule ahead of the World Cup later this year.
That is the view of ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Gareth Southgate confirmed the FA’s wishes.
As quoted by the Mirror on Sunday (12 June), Southgate confirmed the FA had asked the Premier League to not schedule any games between the ‘big six’ or major derbies in the weekend before the league goes on a break for the World Cup in November.
He admitted he is concerned his players could suffer from burnout before their tournament kicks off against Iran on 22 November.
“What we have to understand is that when we’re talking about the Premier League, we’re talking about the 20 clubs,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“They take the selfish view that ‘We’ve got stadiums, we’ve got revenues to generate and fans have every right to see their big players’.
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“I can understand the pressure that is on the Premier League and I can also understand very clearly that, unlike other countries, we don’t give that freedom to the FA. We could have our number one player, our number one goalkeeper in the week leading up to the World Cup but that’s football.
“I think they might get a short shrift on this one because it’s Fifa that has intervened with the programme of the Premier League.
“It’s a commercial decision more than a football decision.
“The FA should have said they were going to pull them a week before the tournament and that allows the Premier League to lose another week.
“We’ve seen teams at the top lose to teams at the bottom. This is just another ‘Oh, this is what we should be doing’.”