According to ESPN, a ‘growing’ number of Premier League footballers aren’t prepared to return to the field during the Coronavirus pandemic, this has dealt a massive blow to hopes of the top flight’s return.
ESPN claim that players across different teams have ‘severe reservations’ about returning to action in order to finishing the 2019/20 season, as part of the ‘Project Restart’ scheme.
The report even claims that a source at Premier League suggested that the top-flight will only take the pandemic ‘seriously’ when someone ‘dies’.
Unlike many of Europe’s top leagues, the Premier League also haven’t announced anything regarding a return to training for players.
Arsenal became the first club to resume training at their London Colney base at the start of this week, the Gunners will be adhering to social distancing guidelines with stars training alone.
Here’s what the source had to say to ESPN:
“A lot of players are very uncomfortable with coming back.
“The only way the league takes this seriously is when someone at a club dies. We will look back on this time with sadness in the future.”
The Premier League will have to formalise their plans for a potential return fairly soon, with ESPN reporting that UEFA have set leagues a deadline of May 25 to outline such plans.
Surprisingly, the UK’s culture secretary admitted that he was in contact with teams regarding the restarting of the Premier League ‘as soon as possible’.
BBC News reported earlier today that the numbers of deaths in the United Kingdom due to the Coronavirus passed the 26,000 mark.
As much as we all miss football, it simply seems unsafe to consider this prospect right now, at the very least until the Premier League better outline their plans for a potential return.
ESPN claim that a source from another Premier League club to the one quoted earlier in the article, said that players with young families and pregnant wives are concerned about playing football during the pandemic.
It’s added that players are reluctant to consider a return to action, especially considering that social distancing measures are yet to be eased.
It should be absolutely paramount that the Premier League don’t consider a potentially premature return of the top-flight which would put players – and even their families in an unsafe position.
Finally, ESPN report that they are yet to receive comment from the PFA regarding their plans to support players who would refuse to return to action.
Football really isn’t important right now, everyone should continue to do their best by adhering to social distancing in a bid to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.