The Premier League is facing a player REVOLT with regards to PROJECT RESTART.
The talent on the pitch doesn’t like the idea of risking their health. Can you blame them?
This from The Mirror, quoting Dutch agent Rob Jaansen.
“I tell you what is going to be the most interesting question: can clubs force their players to play football under these circumstances?
“The pressure because of financial situations is getting bigger and bigger – and England is a major example.
“Cut-backs in wages are varying between 20 to 30 percent.
“I know one English club where they insist that the players take a cut of 70 percent.
“There is a promise that they will compensate the players at a later date.”
It’s a messy situation and I wholeheartedly agree with the fear of the players. These people depend on their health more than most. They are being asked to risk it all in a ‘never been done before’ experiment. Patients who get the virus can suffer lung scarring after, you’ve only got to look at Boris J to see the impact it’s had on him, and he’s fairly young. This is from the John Hopkins website.
“Recovery from lung damage takes time,”
“There’s the initial injury to the lungs, followed by scarring. Over time, the tissue heals, but it can take three months to a year or more for a person’s lung function to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.”
I’m sure lung damage is lesser in young people. But here’s the rub… do you want to be the one player where it hits really hard? Probably not. Why chance a career over a self-imposed deadline? Will there be compensation available if something terrible happens? Are clubs willing to go on the record and lay out the plan with all eventualities?
What’s the alternative though? Bankrupt the clubs, then the players have no living. It’s a very difficult position for the players and the clubs. The situation has been made worse with 3 staff testing positive for the disease in Cologne. How long have they been back, a week? The Premier League’s plan of isolation hotels, mega testing and secret locations for games seems naive… mainly because all it’ll take is ONE case, and the whole thing collapses in on itself.
The clubs know they are up against it as well, Gary Neville has been calling our CEOs for their lack of bottle.
“The PL are having a CV nightmare. They keep spouting health first but then brief constantly ‘We have to restart’. I’d respect them more if they said, ‘We accept the increase in health risk but it’s one we are willing to take.’ They won’t as they are frightened to death!”
“That’s why we haven’t heard one single prominent CEO/chairman/owner or executive open his mouth to back the restart! Brief, brief, brief ! Scared to death of the liability and blame.”
I personally struggle to see how they’ll bring the game back any time soon. I think you’ll need to see a drastic reduction in cases, which hopefully the summer will bring. If they do go ahead, expect players to strike and say they won’t play. Outside health, a lot of these stars live with older family. There’s just too much on the line for them to risk.
Let me know what YOU think in the comments. x
P.S. Check out O.J Pipkin’s documentary series on a young footballer trying to craft a path in the beautiful game! (more here)