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Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt responds to Wigan Athletic chairman’s call to extend EFL season



Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt does not see how Wigan Athletic chairman Talal Al Hammad’s suggestion that the current EFL season be extended can come to fruition.

The Latics chairman believes that the campaign ought to be extended due to the widespread fixture congestion being caused in the division in light of postponements being caused by Covid-19 outbreaks.

Al Hammad tweeted over the weekend: “I am positive that other clubs will agree with me on that the EFL should reconsider their position and extend the league under such circumstances. The main reason being our players, their safety and their wellbeing.

READ MORE: Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Wycombe loss and gives January transfer window update

“At Wigan Athletic, we have always respected the rules and regulations put into place for the safety and wellbeing to all. We have adhered to these, respectfully, throughout the hardships and the pandemic that followed.

“However, playing a football game every three days for a hundred days is unhealthy. It is inevitable that the players will suffer from increased stress and pressure which could then lead to physical and mental injury to our valued players and team.

“Our players would be required to perform at a peak, elite level on each occasion and over such a significant period, this is near impossible. For the integrity of all competitions in which we are competing, we must find some equality in our fixture programme.”

Wanderers boss Evatt has responded to the suggestion but does not see a way in which this can be done and where players and managers can have a break from the game.

The World Cup is being held in Qatar this winter and has meant the start of the 2022/23 season has been pushed forward to help accomodate this.

The change, allied to the need to give players and football staff a break from the job this summer, means an extended season is something that Evatt cannot see becoming a reality.

He told the Manchester Evening News: “I’ve spoke at length about player welfare.

“We have to take that into account but part of that player welfare is players, managers and staff having a break and a holiday and I think we haven’t had one, and I certainly haven’t had one for three years.

“I think with the World Cup next season and when the leagues are due to start next season, I think we’re running out of time fast, so I don’t really know how we’d fit any of that in, as well as give the players a break from football, which we all need at times.”





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