Wenger wants committee to prevent fixture pile-ups

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for an "ethics committee" to oversee television fixture changes and help to protect clubs from the most testing of schedules.

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

The Gunners play Everton on Sunday afternoon, before travelling to Napoli for a decisive final Champions League group match on Wednesday night and afterwards must tackle Manchester City away in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.

Arsenal then have a nine-day break before they host Chelsea on December 23 in another match switched by broadcasters as part of their new multi-million pound deal.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has also lamented the discrepancies, with his team facing a run of three Premier League matches in seven days, two of them away.

Wenger feels more due care and attention has to be taken when executives sit down to select their top picks of the weekend's action.

"If you are tomorrow responsible for Arsenal Football Club, you would not say I want to play on Sunday and on Wednesday and on Saturday morning," said Wenger.

"It is the fact that the way football is sold is that every television [station] has its own rights.

"They don't care if you have already played on Sunday, they choose if Saturday morning is a nice [time] to [have] Arsenal playing Manchester City, they don't look if we play on Wednesday."

Wenger said: "The way football is sold doesn't protect you.

"I would like that there is an ethics committee who look if the clubs are in the right position and have the right protection for English football to do well.

"That is ideally, but I don't even like to speak about it anymore because after, people say that you are finding excuses.

"I don't want to do that, I just want to deal with the situation game by game."

Wenger accepts clubs are beholden to the whims of broadcasters by signing up to such lucrative contracts.

"We can do nothing," he said.

"I personally can do nothing, so I shut my mouth and I just try to win the next game. That is what I learned in 17 years - shut up and play."

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny also accepts Arsenal have little option but to just get on with it.

"We still have to be at our very best and I don't think the lack of rest will be an excuse for us not to perform so I think we don't have to lose focus, we just have to perform," the Poland international said.

Arsenal beat Marseille on Champions League matchday five to all but secure their place in the knock-out stages.

The Gunners will clinch qualification, and top spot, with a draw or a victory in Naples.

Indeed, Arsenal could lose and still progress depending on results elsewhere and the final scoreline at the Stadio San Paolo.

Szczesny insists Arsenal must retain a positive mindset.

"There is no need for us to change our mentality," he said.

"We are in a strong position in the group and we will definitely not go there not to lose, we will go there to get the result and win the group.

"We will just keep going the way we have been."

Szczesny believes Arsenal will not be intimidated by the hot reception which will greet them, just as it did at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund where they secured a 1-0 win last month.

"When you go away in the Champions League the atmosphere is always very good and the fans get behind their team," he said.

"You need to start strongly and make sure you are focused because they get on top of you and put you under pressure - they can take advantage of that.

"I believe we have got enough experience in this team in the Champions League that we will know how to deal with that."



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