Belfast Telegraph

Sarri would take pay cut to end ‘strange’ fixture scheduling

Chelsea are in Europa League action just three days after their Premier League fixture against West Ham.

Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have a busy week ahead (Adam Davy/PA)
Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have a busy week ahead (Adam Davy/PA)

Maurizio Sarri has said he would take a pay cut if it meant the Premier League helping English teams in Europe through more sympathetic fixture scheduling.

Sarri has questioned the Premier League’s “very strange” decision to schedule Chelsea’s West Ham clash for Monday night, just three days before the Blues’ Europa League trip to Slavia Prague.

Chelsea face a pivotal week in hosting West Ham on Monday night before heading to Prague on Thursday – then making the testing league trip to title-chasing Liverpool on Sunday.

And Sarri thinks Premier League bosses ought to do more to help their teams’ European endeavours.

Asked if he would take a pay cut for a more favourable fixture list, Sarri said: “Yes of course, because the salary is not so important for me.

“It is important to have fun, for me. To work without working, because for me, it’s not work.

“I am not able to understand the decision of the Premier League because we have to go to Prague as an English team.

“So I’m not able to understand why we have to play on Monday. It’s very strange. I think they could have done more for the English teams in Europe.

  • April 8 - West Ham (h), Premier League
  • April 11 - Slavia Prague (a), Europa League
  • April 14 - Liverpool (a), Premier League
  • April 18 - Slavia Prague (h), Europa League
  • April 22 - Burnley (h), Premier League

“In Serie A teams play on Friday. Teams involved in the Europa League away from home, they can ask to play their next Serie A match on Monday.

“But this is the situation and we need only to adapt to this situation.”

Sarri conceded however there is little chance of the scheduling situation changing in future, as he praised the Premier League’s prowess at generating television rights revenue.

While the former Napoli manager would happily cut his own salary to boost his side’s chances in Europe, Sarri conceded he would not want any reduction in revenues to hit English clubs’ transfer spending power.

Maurizio Sarri has welcomed the Premier League’s financial success and how it enables clubs like Chelsea to recruit the best players in the world like Eden Hazard, pictured (Ian Walton/PA)

When asked if an easier fixture run would be worth a reduction in funds available for transfers, Sarri continued: “For the players, no, because the Premier League is the best championship in the world.

“So we need to have very strong players.

“The Premier League was able to sell in the best way possible (the television rights), so in England we are lucky.

“We can buy the best players in the world, we have the best championship in the world, and so we have to accept we have to play every three days.”



From Belfast Telegraph