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Sam Allardyce says if Premier League players are scared they shouldn’t be expected to play

6 months ago
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Sam Allardyce has been speaking about Premier League players returning to training, in preparation for restarting competitive matches and finishing off the 2019/20 season.

The playing squads set to begin training today (Tuesday 19 May), initially in small groups of five and socially distanced, as well as other safety measures such as turning up ready to train and not using changing facilities.

The Premier League clubs hoping to restart matches in mid-June, though Steve Bruce claims at least six weeks of training would be needed before playing, which would make it late June at the earliest.

A number of Premier League players have gone public saying they are scared to go back to training and playing football, this despite all of the extra safety measures and privileges they will have compared to those people in ordinary jobs. All players will be regularly tested and given the best possible medical supervision, yet bizarrely, many of them thinking they are some kind of special case and more at risk than others.

Sam Allardyce says that if players ‘find it too difficult to play’ then there should be no ‘repercussions’ for them.

Well nobody can or should be forced to play but if they don’t / won’t and effectively go on strike, then surely they can’t think they should still get paid fortunes to sit at home?

Sam Allardyce declares that ‘Nobody must be put under any undue pressure to play’ but this is shameful when put alongside what is reality for the rest of the people in this country. Premier League players are in such a pampered position and far safer than 99% of people working in other industries, how on earth any of them can refuse to train and play in the knowledge that millions and millions of others are just getting on with it, as well as doctors and nurses, all of the people in factories, food supply chain, shops / supermarkets, NHS cleaners and other staff. So many of them in low paid jobs and having no option but to use public transport to get to work.

Compared to Premier League players earning more in a week than most people earn in a year, turning up in top end cars to training, regularly tested etc and kicking a football around in the open air…

To hear Sam Allardyce and others talk, you would think that England was somehow unique. Totally ignoring the likes of the Bundesliga players who after training for six weeks had a full round of matches this weekend, very professionally organised and made as safe as possible, everybody just getting on with it and doing what they are paid to do, without thinking they are somehow special cases who shouldn’t have to work.

Sam Allardyce speaking to The Times:

“Getting football back up and running again is the biggest challenge that the Premier League will ever face.

“Getting the players fit in four weeks could be done but that is the least of their worries.

“I think the biggest challenge for the players will be dealing with the mental side.

“I would reassure them that there would be no repercussions if they decided that they’d find it too difficult to play.

“I’d really hate it if someone was ridiculed for saying: “I just can’t do it.” Nobody must be put under any undue pressure to play.

“If they’re too scared about those conditions, they won’t be able to perform to their best, and then they will start getting criticised.

“You can’t play five-a-side matches and then go into the season. It’s impossible.

“I would like my teams to have played at least five or six friendlies before the start of the season.

“Some serious decisions have to be made. If they are packing the fixtures in, playing three times a week, that will lead to more injuries.”

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