Watford’s Troy Deeney says he will put his family’s health before football and has raised concerns about the Premier League’s plans to restart the campaign disrupted by Covid-19.
The 31-year-old club captain was part of a conference call this week with the Professional Footballers’ Association, Premier League officials and the government on safety measures surrounding Project Restart, which envisages a return to play in June.
Those plans were given a boost on Thursday when the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, said the government was “opening the door” for football to return next month but Deeney said he was against a quick restart.
“I’m not even talking about football at the moment – I’m talking about my family’s health. If I feel that I’m not looking after my family, then I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to put my family at risk,” Deeney said on Instagram.
“What are they going to do, take money off me? I’ve been broke before so it doesn’t bother me.
“They’re talking about not playing in front of fans until 2021. So if it’s not safe enough for fans to be inside a stadium why should it be safe for players to be in there?”
Tottenham’s Harry Kane said players were awaiting safety guidance from the league before deciding about a possible return to competitive action
“I think the majority of players are looking forward to playing again as soon as possible but we know we want it to be as safe as possible too,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “From what I have heard – obviously I haven’t seen too much of my teammates – at the moment everyone is OK. We want to see how the Premier League gives us a plan and what that looks like. I guess we just go from there.
“Me personally, I am happy to start training in small groups if that is allowed and just trying to get back to some normality as soon as possible.”
Kane said he, along with the rest of the Spurs squad, had taken tests for coronavirus on Monday with no positive results.