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Does the Christmas period demand too much of football fans and players?

While the rest of Europe’s top league’s enjoy a winter break, players in the Premier League endure one of the busiest times of the year.

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While the rest of Europe’s top league’s enjoy a winter break, players in the Premier League endure one of the busiest times of the year with several games crammed in around the Christmas and New Year period.

Jurgen Klopp, Pepe Guardiola and Jose Mourinho – three of the best managers in the world – have all recently criticised the FA for this year’s Premier League schedule that sees most teams having to play two games in just 48 hours.

With the obvious strain this can put on the players and the huge expense for match-going fans, the guys at Betway Football have created a short video looking at whether the festive football period in England demands too much of the players and supporters.

Playing over Christmas and New Year is one of the oldest traditions in English football and Betway went to Norwich City to speak to fans, staff members and players – Onel Hernandez, Sam Byram and Tom Trybull – about the challenges they face on and off the pitch at this time of year.

The Norwich players all admitted it’s difficult to juggle family life around Christmas with having to play a top flight game on Boxing Day as it means they can’t relax and enjoy themselves as much of normal people can on Christmas Day. They have to leave their family and kids to go to training and watch what they eat – well, apart from Holt who says he still eats whatever he wants!

Norwich ground staff were also interviewed during the documentary and they said it wasn’t easy to leave their loved ones on Christmas Day to go and prepare for the Boxing Day game and admitted it’s a big negative about their job, but they knew what they were signing up to and get a kick out of giving fans some enjoyment on Boxing Day.

However, father and son Giles and Richard – who are both life-long Norwich fans – say going to the game on Boxing Day is now a part of life and their family are used to the fact they won’t be around. They feel it’s great to have so many football games on when people are off work and their lives revolve around football so they can only see positives in playing games over the festive period.

The overall feeling is that it’s more difficult for players and staff members to cope with the demands of England’s festive football schedule – mainly because the have to leave their families on Christmas Day.

Fans are still able to spend all of Christmas with their family and seem to enjoy having football to watch on Boxing Day so this is one tradition I don’t see leaving our game anytime soon.

Watch the video below:

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