Will Troy Deeney spark revolt amongst Premier League players?

Premier League clubs have voted unanimously to return to training this week, despite concerns being raised by players, and Troy Deeney has revealed that he will be rejecting his club’s request to train.

The Watford forward is known for his directness, on the pitch and off of it, with the striker previously having claimed that Arsenal played without ‘cajones‘, and he has backed up his previous doubts over the ability to return safely by now refusing to return, citing the supposed the increased risk to BAME persons to the virus and the health of his small child as reasoning.

“We’re due back in this week. I’ve said I’m not going in. It’s nothing to do with financial gain,” Deeney said on Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew’s Talk The Talk podcast. “When I go into full detail about my personal situation, everyone here will go ‘no problem’.

“My son is five months and he’s had breathing difficulties. I don’t want to come home and put him in more danger. You’ve got to drive in in your own kit, you can’t have showers, then drive back in the same dirty kit you’ve got.

“If I’m putting my clothing in with my son’s or my missus’ it’s more likely to be in the house.”

Deeney moved onto state that he raised his concerns at the Project Restart meeting last week, with those concerns not answered at all.

“Within the meeting I asked very simple questions. For Black, Asian and mixed ethnicities they are four times more likely to get the illness and we’re twice as likely to have long lasting illnesses,” Deeney said.

“Is there any additional screening? Heart stuff to see if people have got problems? No. Okay, well I feel like that should be addressed.

“If going forward, in phase two and three, which are going into smaller groups of three to six people, is there a clear layout if we hit certain targets then we will transition into 11 v 11? No, it’s six days of this, seven days of that, then a week until you’re playing.

“They want the first game to be June 12, so we’re only like three-and-a-half weeks away from that, so my thing is the transition is really fast.

“While we are being tested and while we are going to be in a very safe environment, it only takes one person in the group. I don’t want to be bringing that home.”

The virus clearly has many people concerned, and rightly so, and the fact that the league is trying to cram the remaining fixtures into a slim time-frame only highlights that time is a key factor for those higher up, while health should be the most important factor.

It remains to be seen if any other Premier League stars will be follow suit in turning down the request to return to training, nor if there will be ramifications to those who refuse.

Watford are currently outside the relegation zone on goal difference alone, and one of their key members refusing to return may well hamper their chances of securing their status in the English top tier, but nobody can blame the star for his stance.

Will Deeney just be the first to refuse? Will Watford be forced to handle the situation carefully in regards to Troy?


Tags Premier League Troy Deeney


  1. jon fox says:

    DEENEY is acting as a wise and responsible adult should. Shame he is in a minority, albeit not a tiny minority. To be even thinking of playingfoootball while hundreds are dying daily is evil beyond anything that has gone before in the Prem. To knowingly put folk lives in danger for money alone is pure evil and I want no part of it. Bravo Troy Deeney!

    1. Reggie says:

      Agree Jon and the fact that 6 footballers tested positive shows just one player with it after testing negative the day or so before can cause endless problems. Im sure there are more sensible players like Deeney, who will not risk their families. I think there are more potential pitfalls over any restart to come and if it does there may be some sad stories as well, if it all does go ahead.

  2. Declan says:

    Watford have already confirmed they are happy with Deeney’s stance and said they respect any players decision not to return to training.

  3. Robert Acedius says:

    A couple of days ago British PM Boris Johnson said there might never be a vaccine for covid-19. The lethal virus is here to stay. We must learn to live with it, like we learned to live with the existence of aids. So Mr Deeney is doing the only decent thing in this situation, he try to protect his family. Good Man.

  4. Darthballz says:

    You can’t blame for thinking of his family’s health first .well done

  5. Sue says:

    I’d do exactly the same… family comes first

    1. Admin Martin says:

      If you played for Watford, yes, but if you played for Liverpool………….

      1. Sue says:

        Are you implying I’d put winning the league before the wellbeing of my child?!!!

        1. Admin Martin says:

          Not you Sue, I was referring to Deeney and of course I am suggesting that. Did not realise I was being ambiguous.

          1. Sue says:

            That’d be pretty messed up (imo) if that was the case, Martin!!

          2. Admin Martin says:

            Oh come on Sue, they are in an environment safer than almost anyone else, they are tested time and again and in this new world we all live in they should be treated no different than the likes of me and you who have to carry on and get on with it. But that aside, I do not believe Mr Cojones for one second, if Watford was going for a Champions League place he would be playing, that you can take to the bank.

          3. Reggie says:

            Im sorry Martin, i dont get what you are saying at all. Its your opinion and only your opinion, not fact but i respect what Deeney has said and done and my opinion is it was for all the right reasons.

          4. Admin Martin says:

            Yes, I gather that Reggie, you made that very clear in another comment what you thought of my opinion.

          5. Sue says:

            Yes well they’re fighting relegation, surely that is just as important?
            I know they’re tested time and time again… what about those 6 that tested positive? Where the hell did they pick it up from? They’re in a safer environment yes, but all it takes is just one person not displaying symptoms to then pass it on (maybe one of those 6) we all know how people react differently to it.. I’d be worried if I was him, and if I had a 5 month old with breathing problems, well my place of work wouldn’t be seeing me for the foreseeable!!

          6. Admin Martin says:

            Maybe they picked up when they were hiring prostitutes for sex parties or driving all over the place to visit people or smashing cars or hosting parties or playing in the park with mates, I don’t know where they would have picked it up but I do know the numbers are much lower than in Germany, that every industry you can think of has people affected with Covid and yet those industries all carry on and get on with it but not this pampered lot. Nurses, drivers, emergency service workers, even supermarket workers isolate themselves from vulnerable members of their families, as I do, but sadly we are not millionaires that can afford to down tools. They embarrass themselves in my opinion.

          7. Sue says:

            Yes, Martin, some of them have embarrassed themselves and given all footballers a bad name, which I don’t agree with… but I’m with Deeney on this… we know this can be picked up anywhere…. a lot of my colleagues have gone down with it, 2 seriously ill, and that is with us following strict protocol…. wearing correct ppe… so I can understand why people are worried… and with a baby, usually classed as vulnerable, I understand why he won’t train… yes he’ll still have loads in the bank, if he isn’t paid, but what would one rather have- loadsa money or a healthy child??

          8. Reggie says:

            I agree Sue, i would be very surprised if Deeney has wayed up his decision by looking at Watford’s relegation prospects against his family safely.

      2. Robert Acedius says:

        If Troy were playing for Liverpool he could take his family an go to Kurrekurredutt Island right now. The reds are leading with 25 pts, for pete’s sake. As a Watford player he have much more to play for than if he played for Liverpool. If – the season 2019/20 continues herr Klopp can let Salah, Firmino and Mane stay on the bench and still take the necessary points to secure the title. Bad example, mate.

        1. Admin Martin says:

          He does not give a fig if they get relegated, he will just seek a transfer and even if he did not he would still have his huge contract. Missing out on champions league for the likes of Deeney would be huge. I feel my example was spot on.

  6. SueP says:

    I totally accept that he is concerned for his baby son who clearly needs protection and whose future health is paramount

    I pose the question that where does that leave Deeney in the future if he declines to return to training? Or any other player. If, as we are being told that the virus is likely to remain with us for quite some time, eventually people will have to go back to work. It isn’t feasible to lockdown a country forever. Strategies will be formulated for life in some form or other to carry on.
    Will a refusal to return without valid concerns allow the clubs to terminate contracts?

    1. Phil says:

      Very good point SP and one I’m sure a number of clubs “could” just use if they felt they needed a player off their books. Such is the cynical minds of some I’m sure. But what has Deeney done? He is putting his families well being and futures before anything else, that’s what. And for a player generally despised by the vast majority of Arsenal Supporters for suggesting we had “No Balls” he certainly has shown he had plenty of his own.
      And does anyone know what the PFA’s stance on all this is! Surely they would be demanding nothing but the health and well being of their members is the very first consideration in these times, and should, I feel, be publicly backing Troy Deeney in his actions.
      Looking slightly forward, and believing the season will be starting in the very near future, what happens if ONE SINGLE PLAYER, MANAGER, COACH, etc is infected with this virus as a direct result of a match being played? What happens then? Do we see ALL GAMES CANCELLED? Or are the players expected to roll the dice and just hope they get through it all unscathed?
      We all miss our football, but surely someone, sooner or later, will wake up to the reality that Human Lives are a stake here.

      1. SueP says:

        I only put this out there as a point of discussion
        However, if Joe Public is expected to start the economy moving again in the near future then are sports teams any different from shop workers, medics, teachers, etc etc?

        1. Phil says:

          SP- the problem is this. The Government are in a totally lose/lose situation whatever decisions they ultimately make. By attempting to re-start the economy, could this backfire on them, and ultimately is, if a second wave of the virus is triggered? And at the end of the day, while football is an industry in itself, providing employment for tens of thousands outside of the playing staff, this is surely secondary to the mainstream employment of this country.
          I am really missing my football every week. But, if it means writing off this season, and making a decision in, say three months time, on next season, them I’m all for that. If next season is scrapped, then so be it. At least EVERY precaution will seem to have been taken.
          I don’t know the answers SP, and the trouble is, NOBODY actually has the answers, such is the issue we are all facing.
          I had a good catch up on the phone with a great mate at the weekend, who placed this scenario on the table. Let’s take the Printing Company who are responsible for the Programmes at each home game. Let’s say one of their workers catches the disease and spreads it around hie colleagues, and through handling, supporters end up with the virus. What happens then. Shut the ground down again? Does the Printing Company have a legal claim against Arsenal Football Club? Do the supporters take legal action against the Club?
          I just feel the ramifications of Football being played, in any form re supporters, is just too much of a risk. Of course the economy is important, but so is the Health andLives of EVERY person in this country.
          On a positive note, I’ve been out on the Golf Course three times since they relaxed the rules lat week, so life is t too bad after all. But that’s just me being selfish I suppose. The Club are very very strict on distancing from the very second you arrive in the Car Park, until the second you drive out. Imagine attempting any form of crowd control in Stadiums. It would be impossible.
          Anyway SP, you keep safe, keep well, and KEEP WRITING. You have had the nod of approval from JF, and that’s like being endorsed by God Almighty himself, ( although Jon will argue it is actually higher I’m sure).

  7. SueP says:

    Thanks Phil
    I’ve managed 2 socially distanced games and another planned for Thursday -what a relief it was too speak to someone else other than my darling husband and the course looked magnificent
    We are all in a terrible predicament. There are going to be more losers than winners in so many ways
    I’d better not disagree with Jon 😳

    1. Reggie says:

      Now, golf is a sport that can be played safely, social distancing can be applied and even spectators could be allowed if they limit them and dont have stands. Ive been out also, really great to be out and looking forward to going out Friday for a game. Safe and good for you, cant be bad.

      1. SueP says:

        Glad to hear it Reggie,
        Until now, the bunkers were GUR, but from Friday its back to normal, without the rakes of course.

        1. Phil says:

          SP-What’s a bunker? I’ve never been in one😂

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