Gary Neville has warned the Premier League they need to quarantine players for the duration of the return to football and should hold a World Cup style event to finish the season. The Premier League moved a step closer to a restart yesterday when players voted to return to training in small groups.
However social distancing will still be in place and no contact is allowed until at least next month.
But the Premier League are hoping to copy the Bundesliga in getting back underway after it started this weekend.
But Neville thinks the Premier League may have to adopt a quarantine approach similar to his experiences at World Cups to reduce the possibility of infection.
Premier League chief Richard Masters floated the possibility of quarantining players ahead of games with the Bundesliga ordering players quarantined for seven days ahead of their opening matches.
But Neville thinks there are still huge risks involved and the best way to get the season done would be to quarantine for the whole period – to help protect families and from family members potentially exposing players if they’re not locked down as well.
“I thought the way the Premier League wanted to go about restarting would revolve around players being quarantined not just for the 14 days before the first match but for a two-to-three-week period where they were going to shove the nine games so they could be played as quick as possible in a condensed period,” Neville said on The Football Show on Sky Sports.
“It would almost be like a World Cup where players are quarantined for a period. It’s not unusual for players to be away for four or five weeks before and then three weeks for a tournament – I’m not sure why the games have to be spread over five or six weeks?
“I think it would be readily accepted by players. I went to eight tournaments with England as a player or coach and was away for five or six weeks and the majority of Premier League players are internationals who would have also experienced that before.
“The reality is you have do what’s necessary to get things done. I think the best to do it would be to keep them in quarantine away from their families. The concern would be after the players had played the first game and returned to their families where potentially in July retail stores and restaurants will be open again.
“You can tell the players not to go to shops or restaurants but their family members will be – you can’t quarantine the family members. That is a concern with players being exposed to family members who are going out into society.”
Most players have returned to training today, but Troy Deeney is among those refusing to return.
“We have always said on this show that if a player does not feel safe or sound to go back, he can’t go back,” he said.
“This was always going to be the case that maybe one or two players in every squad may not feel safe and may not want to go back.
“I do not think that would stop the Premier League going on. If players en masse said they did not want to be involved, then that would be a big problem.
“But if one or two players in every club, that is something the clubs and Premier League will just have to accept and try and get them on board going forward.”
Published at Tue, 19 May 2020 11:11:00 +0000