Antonio Conte accuses Premier League of conspiracy against Chelsea over fixture schedule
Antonio Conte has suggested there is a conspiracy against his Chelsea side in another attack on the Premier League fixture list.
The former Italy boss has frequently questioned the scheduling of domestic games and the disparity in rest between his side and their opponents.
Chelsea faced Liverpool at Anfield three days after a Champions League trip to Qarabag and on Saturday take on Newcastle, who have had an extra day rest over the reigning champions.
‘Honestly, it is very difficult to think this is a coincidence,’ said Conte. ‘Once it can happen. Twice it can happen. Then you start to be perplexed.
‘The Qarabag situation was incredible. And I must be honest, it has happened again. Newcastle played on Tuesday, we played on Wednesday and now we play on Saturday at 12.30.
‘It is a strange coincidence. Only 14 games and it has happened four times. I don’t want advantages. I want the same rest as our opponents. Is it difficult to do this? I don’t think so.
‘I want respect for my job, for my club, for the players, for the fans. I’m not stupid, if someone wants to joke with me I am not the right person to joke with.’
The schedule will not get any kinder for Chelsea – next week they face Atletico Madrid in Europe before another early kick-off at West Ham, who will have a whole week off in-between fixtures.
Chelsea 2017/18 Fixtures
Newcastle (H) – Sat 2 Dec
Atletico Madrid (H) – Tue 5 Dec (Champions League)
West Ham (A) – Sat 9 Dec
Huddersfield Town (A) – Tues Dec 12
Southampton (H) – Sat Dec 16
Bournemouth (H) – Wed Dec 20 (EFL Cup)
Everton (A) – Sat Dec 23
Brighton (H) – Tues Dec 26
Stoke City (H) – Sat Dec 30
‘Every team can have this situation,’ Conte added. ‘I don’t know but, from the start of the season, I see only Chelsea.
‘I spoke with my club and I hope they do something about the situation. I am trying to protect my club, my players, my fans and maybe the Premier League.’
Conte also confirmed he had accepted a FA charge after he lashed out at fourth official Lee Mason during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Swansea during the week.
‘The referee took this decision, I have to respect it and pay this fine,’ he said. ‘In future I will try to avoid saying these things.’