Player concerns ‘less likely’ Premier League return on June

Earlier this week, England cleared a path for the Premier League to return to action on June 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some players aren’t prepared to jump on board. 

On Wednesday, Paul MacInnes and David Hytner of The Guardian reported that it’s “less likely” the country’s top-flight competition will resume June 12 following two meetings where footballers and managers addressed training and playing during the pandemic. 

Players openly spoke with league executives and EPL chief medical officer Jonathan van Tam regarding concerns, such as testing protocols and returning to match fitness under strict training guidelines meant to encourage social distancing. 

The Guardian story suggests June 19 is the new unofficial resumption date penciled in on club calendars. Much about the campaign’s future, such as if positive test results among at least several players would shutter play a second time, remains unknown. 

There’s also no agreement on where matches will occur. While ESPN’s Mark Ogden reported on May 11 that over half of Premier League clubs oppose finishing the season on neutral grounds, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson hit out at the notion that fans wouldn’t gather outside of venues if teams held standard home-and-away fixtures.

Well-known Premier League players have openly criticized playing during the pandemic. On Monday, Newcastle United loanee and England left back Danny Rose unleashed a NSFW rant over the matter. 

In late April, Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero said players are “scared” to get back to work.

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.