Soccer should deal with same risks as other businesses in pandemic

Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes Premier League players should be treated like workers in other industries who are battling through the coronavirus crisis.

The Kettering-born tactician, who’s a strong supporter of the top flight’s “Project Restart,” told The Athletic’s “Ornstein & Chapman Podcast” on Tuesday that football must understand it’s not the only business dealing with the risks presented by COVID-19.

“People ask often, ‘Why are footballers treated different?’ Well, I attempt to not treat them too differently,” Dyche said.

He continued: “Weirdly, we see the football world as different … but equally they are professional footballers, so if football is offered a safe environment in which to go and play, you would imagine that most professional footballers would say, ‘OK, that’s my job, that’s what I do.'”

Dyche wants to avoid the “double standard” of expecting one industry to traverse the serious threats of COVID-19 while absolving another from its duties.

The British government revised its lockdown measures this week, and the public is now encouraged to travel to places of work that are open if duties can’t be performed from home.

As far as Dyche is concerned, that means the players can also return to work.

“I was interviewed the other day and (interviewer and presenter) Eamonn Holmes said to me, ‘What happens if something really bad or tragic happens in football?'” Dyche added. “I said, ‘What happens if it happens in every business? Are you going to shut down every business?'”

Danny RoseSergio Aguero, and other players have expressed reservations about the Premier League’s plans to return as the UK nears 228,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 33,000 related deaths. However, Dyche insisted his whole Burnley squad is prepared to play out the rest of the 2019-20 season

“Everyone agreed that we want to get on with it,” he said. “Not in a flippant way, quite obviously, (but) as long as the situation is correct and as long as protocols are correct and everyone’s happy with them.

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