Glenn Murray says Premier League restart should be delayed until country better equipped | Football News
Glenn Murray tells The Football Show: “I can’t understand after loosening the lockdown why we’re in such a rush to get it back when we could just wait a month and see if things go to plan”
Last Updated: 14/05/20 1:13pm
Glenn Murray told The Football Show he wants to see the Premier League season finish – but should wait until the country is in a better position to safeguard players and their families first.
With plans now drawn up to facilitate a return to training for Premier League clubs from May 18, Murray told Thursday’s show he felt players were “pretty happy” with a socially distanced comeback, but were more reluctant about the idea of contact training further down the line.
No date has been given yet for a potential resumption of first-team fixtures but sporting matches could be permitted from June 1 under new government restrictions. However, Murray said concerns about the impact the coronavirus meant it would be better to wait to conclude the season – with an un-named Seagulls player testing positive for the virus last week, despite following lockdown guidelines.
He said: “[The league] does need to go on, but if we give ourselves a little bit more time, the country will be back up and running again, we’ll have learned more about this virus, we won’t necessarily have a vaccine, but we’ll be better prepared to deal with it if anyone does get it.
“I can’t understand after loosening the lockdown why we’re in such a rush to get it back when we could just wait a month and see if things go to plan. Why not see how the country copes with lessening the lockdown without starting unnecessary sports when people are dying all around us, and the death rate is still high.
“It’s almost impossible [to get everyone feeling the same]. Trying to get 25 lads all on board, that’s not just 25 lads with the same mentality, we’ve got people from all over the world in different situations and it’s difficult to lead a group and everyone to agree.
“I think most of the players are pretty happy with phase one, obviously there’s a lot of people with different situations out there, people who live with vulnerable people, pregnant wives or girlfriends and it’s been well-documented about the BAME community being at high risk. I think it’s a really difficult one to step into phase two, and I think there is some reluctance in certain pockets of players.
“I think first and foremost, saying players are reluctant to return, I don’t want that to be perceived as a snowflake mentality, it’s more about being worried about the people that we’re going home to. Everyone’s in different situations and has different people at home, with illnesses, pregnancies or children.”
Will speed of return compromise quality?
Another mark of the speed of Project Restart for players will be a limit on time spent at club training grounds and in contact with others, in an aim to keep down the chance of spreading coronavirus while the virus infection rate is still high across the country.
Murray said he felt those restrictions would end up taking away from the quality of the Premier League, as would the crowded fixture list mooted in an attempt to get this season finished as quickly as possible.
He said: “You’re only allowed into the training ground 15 minutes before training, and the queue for strappings and things in the physio room is about 30 minutes long.
“It’s 15 minutes after too, with no recovery, physiotherapy is only essential so no masseuses or cryotherapy chambers, it’s obviously a global brand and everyone wants to watch it because of its level and intensity.
“But I just can’t understand how that’s going to be done with taking all those things away, and trying to fit in a large amount of games into such a short period of time.”
‘Relegation unfair if Champ doesn’t finish’
Following on from comments from Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber on Wednesday, Murray agreed it was unfair if Championship clubs were promoted at the expense of the Premier League’s bottom sides if their own season was not played to a conclusion.
He said: “I just think we’re talking about fairness. We’re trying our best to get the Premier League finished, no-one wants it voided and if we get it finished, like I’ve said the bottom three will be the worst three and deserve to go down.
“But if the Championship aren’t finishing their season, why should they get promoted? If we get relegated and they get promoted without kicking a ball, I can’t see that that’s a fair way to finish.”
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