Premier League stars will be desperate to play again…, former Liverpool star



Football
Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy believes footballers would be ready and willing to spend weeks away from family if it meant football could return and if it was necessary to complete the Premier League season.

Top flight bosses and club chiefs are meeting via video call on Monday for their latest discussions over ‘Project Restart’ after the government’s road map for exiting the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus was published.


Step two of the road map, which cannot begin any earlier than June 1, includes “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”.


Premier League clubs are now set to ramp up their plans to resume the 2019/20 campaign, with the use of neutral venues mooted as a possibility to ensure maximum safety.


The Premier League has been suspended since March, but it appears a return to action could be on the horizon.


However, there remain plenty of doubts and misgivings about those plans, and whether players would actually be willing to return to action while the health crisis continues.


Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has hit out at the ‘pressure’ being put on footballers to essentially place themselves and their families at risk, while Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has insisted his club will NOT force any of their players to play if they don’t want to.


Murphy, though, believes the majority of Premier League stars will be itching to get back on the field.


And the former Liverpool midfield says he would ‘play tomorrow’ if he was assured it was safe.


“Football is what consumed my life and made me happy, and when you play football and it’s taken away, for whatever reason, injury this pandemic, players don’t like not playing because it’s what they’re used to,” he told talkSPORT host Natalie Sawyer.

“They’ll always be a minority that will go against, but the majority of players will be desperate to get back playing.

Danny Murphy says he’d ‘play tomorrow’ if he was assured it was safe.


“Are the clubs going to be doing everything they can? Of course they will because they want to protect their assets.


“So, do I want to play football? Yes. Do I care if it’s an empty stadium? No. Do I care if it’s a neutral stadium? No.


“When the CEOs are coming out and saying, ‘we don’t want to play in a neutral stadium’, I bet if you ask the players every one of them would say: ‘Is the stadium safe? Get me there, I’ll play tomorrow.


“Because that’s what you love doing as a footballer.”


One of the solutions reportedly under consideration is to complete the remaining games of the season in the space of eight weeks, while teams could be kept in isolation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their ranks and games could be played in neutral stadiums in a tournament style environment.


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And Murphy believes the majority of players would also accept those conditions, even if it meant spending two months away from their families, to ensure the season is played to a conclusion.


The former England international added: “If you were to say to me, ‘for the next six or eight weeks you’re going to have to be away from your family’, I’ve done that before.


“It’ll be like going to a tournament, a World Cup or a European Championship, I’ve been away from my family for six weeks before now.


“This doesn’t suit everyone, especially if you’ve got young kids that have just been born or parents who are unwell.


“But if you’re saying to me: ‘You want to get the season done? You might not be able to see your family for six weeks, we’re going to put the team together in isolation, we’re going to be continually test you and this will help appease your fears from spreading it to close family…’

“I would say, ‘yes’.”

Credit: oilandgasrepublic.com
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