Lampard consoles Reece James after Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes starting next season on 12 September is “too early” given his side’s schedule.

The 2020-21 start date was confirmed last month but Chelsea face Bayern Munich on Saturday in a rescheduled Champions League round of 16 tie.

Even if they fail to advance from a 3-0 deficit, Chelsea will have just 35 days before the new Premier League season.

“Players need to be given a break to play at the level and quality product the Premier League is,” Lampard said.

It is understood that when Premier League clubs agreed the new start date it was also clear that a break of at least 30 days would be permitted for Chelsea and any of the other teams playing in the end-of-season European competitions.

Manchester City also remain in the Champions League, the final of which is on 23 August, while Manchester United and Wolves are still involved in the Europa League, which has its final on 21 August.

Lampard saw Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek pull out on the eve of the FA Cup final through injury, then lost Cesar Azpilicueta and goalscorer Christian Pulisic during the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal to hamstring problems.

“I would like to think the Premier League would look seriously at that,” he added. “Hopefully they give us a fair start next season. Even in a worst-case scenario, we don’t go through against Bayern, the 12th feels too early for me for the players to start playing again.”


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