Soccer

Chelsea boss Lampard launches attack on Premier League over return date for next season

Instead, he pleaded for the authorities to be more “fair” to the teams still involved in European competition – Manchester City, Manchester United, Wolves and themselves.

Otherwise he warned that if teams with games still to play in August are rushed back into action for September 12, there is a danger of more injuries like the serious ones that marred Chelsea’s 2-1 1FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta both suffered hamstring injuries and Pedro was stretchered off with a suspected fractured shoulder with Chelsea finishing the game with just nine men on the pitch.

Nevertheless, they have to pick themselves up from the disappointment to travel to Bayern Munich for the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash on Saturday.

If they do somehow turn around the 3-0 first leg deficit, the rest of the competition to be held in Portugal leading up to the final on August 29.

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That is just a fortnight before the next Premier League season is scheduled to start on September 12.

“I am guessing we will be told when we start and that will be dependent on how we will go against Bayern Munich,” Lampard said.

“Even in a worst case scenario we don’t go through against Bayern, the 12th feels too early for me for the players to be start playing again.

“The players need a break.

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“That is why we have pulled two hamstrings and had players pull out of the game before this.

“I would like to think the Premier League would look seriously at that and hopefully give us a fair start next season.

“We deserve to be given a fair start as a Premier League club competing in the Champions League.”

Clubs agreed to the start date in a meeting last month where provision was made for a minimum 30-day break for those involved in European football.

The fixture list is set to be produced on August 21 and Chelsea would be expected to start 2020-21 on time if they are knocked out as early as Saturday.

The Premier League are adamant some sort of truncation of the new season is to be expected for fixtures to be finished in time for the rescheduled Euro 2020 next summer.

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