Premier League players don’t want to be seen as guinea pigs

The Premier League will hold conference calls with captains of clubs, managers, and medical experts on Wednesday, and this will be with an emphasis on player welfare.

“It’s never easy when we’ve had over six weeks of being told to stay inside, and the next minutes it’s the start of what’s being perceived as the easing of these restrictions,” PFA chief executive Taylor said.

“The players don’t want to be seen as guinea pigs and that will apply to everyone in professional sport.

“It’s about getting the balance of safety and also trying to get back to normality as much as possible.”

It can be recalled that figures disclosed by NHS England at the end of April showed a continuing trend that saw folks from black, Asian, or minority ethnic backgrounds being affected by COVID-19 in disproportionate fashion.

Taylor said: “We need to make sure our BAME players are properly protected if there is an incidence of higher rates with those players.

“We need to give everyone confidence that every single safety measure has been taken on their behalf.”

Clubs are looking forward to commencing training on Monday but this will only materialize if an agreement is reached with players and managers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless, Wednesday’s meetings will involve representatives from the PFA and LMA.

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Premier League players will also provide written confirmation of their agreement with the new safety measures being adopted by their clubs before they engage in group training.

According to Taylor, a five-step process will be put in place for the return of training activities to ensure the maximum safety of players.

“Thinking about returning to training, it’s going to be a staged process. There’s going to be five steps and it’s caution all the way,” he said.

“We’ll put our toe back into the water as things are eased back in, mindful that there could be a backbite and that’s where the medical experts come in.

“It’s the very first stage, it’ll be very controlled, and it’ll be as safe as humanly possible.

“We need the players to be assured of all the questions they put forward. We can then give them careful consideration, mindful that they need proper time to return to training if the season is to recommence.”