One of the biggest challenges that Project Restart is facing at the moment is players’ reluctance to return to training and to fulfil their remaining fixtures.
The Premier League is preparing to restart and finish the campaign next month, but some players think that it is ridiculous that they are being asked to return to the pitch when people are still dying from the coronavirus.
Some teams (including Arsenal) have already started training individually at their training grounds while small group training is expected to start next week for teams that have tested their players for coronavirus.
Norwich City captain, Grant Hanley, has become the latest player to add his voice to the debate over the restart as reported in the Sun.
The defender claims that Premier League players want to return to work, however, they are afraid of what might happen to their careers if they contract the virus.
Players have been claiming that they worry about getting the virus and infecting their families, even though they have been assured that would not happen because of the measures being put in place for their sake.
Grant Hanley said as quoted in the Sun: “I think 100 per cent of players want to get back to football but it needs to be at the right time, when everybody feels safe.
“If a player DID contract the virus and was ill with it, would that affect his long-term career? Is it going to have an impact on their livelihood?
“Going back to training is not the issue, it’s what will happen beyond that.
“Where do we go from there in terms of contact training and games?
“The period we’ve had off is going to be longer than any summer break and then we’re trying to squeeze in a couple of weeks of full training.
“I think injuries are going to go through the roof, especially at a time when we are going to be restricted on how much we can use the physios and recovery methods, in terms of ice baths.
“Everyone’s situation is different. Some players may be going into the last year of their contracts and thinking it’s a massive risk, at their age, in terms of injuries.
“Some lads need 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half every day just to train.
“One of the new protocols is we can only arrive 15 minutes before training. Some lads are not going to be able to get by on that.”
I am sure it is just a coincidence that it is the captain of the team rock bottom of the Premier League and almost certain to be relegated saying this, and not the captains of Liverpool, Sheffield United, Leeds United, West Brom etc.
On a side note, it was good to see the Bundesliga return to action fresh on the heels of South Korea’s K League and tens of other leagues throughout the world are expected to follow suit in the very near future.