Brighton striker Glenn Murray has joined the growing band of voices warning that a premature return to action could put lives at risk.
Former Manchester United defender and Sky pundit Gary Neville claimed on Wednesday that the football authorities are putting money before player welfare as they ramp up plans to restart the Premier League season behind closed doors.
And Brighton forward Murray echoed those concerns when he said: ‘Football reopening reopens a lot of other avenues – stewards, security, bus drivers, physios, doctors, ambulances.
Glenn Murray has warned that a premature return to action could put lives at risk
‘The list is quite long. It’s not just a squad of 25 going to play another squad of 25 and that’s all that will be involved.
‘It’s going to be a hell of a lot of people, which I think could potentially be putting people at risk.
‘I have heard reports about social distancing until the New Year and I cannot quite get my head around how we social distance while training among ourselves and then on a Saturday.
‘How do you social distance on a corner kick and things like that?
Gary Neville believes the money at stake is clouding judgements over restarting football
‘It’s going to be very difficult but the decision is above my pay-grade so I’ll wait for it to be made by the bigwigs.’
Neville said on Wednesday that talk of playing again in June is too early. He told the Sky Sports Football Show: ‘The FIFA medical officer said that football should not take place before September.
‘I think if it was a non-economic decision there would be no football for months.
‘People are now assessing risk. How many people have to die playing football in the Premier League before it becomes unpalatable? One? One player? One member of staff goes into intensive care?
Murray (C) does not see how players will be able to follow social distancing guidelines
‘What risk do we have to take? The discussion is purely economic.’
The French government has called time on their season, following Belgium and the Netherlands.
And Murray agreed with Neville when he said he is not surprised by a suggestion from FIFA Medical Committee chairman Dr Michel D’Hooghe that there should be no football until September 1.
He added: ‘I would probably call that sensible. Unfortunately this pandemic has hit our country really hard.
‘We need to remember that when we’re talking about football.
‘Obviously it’s really important to my life and to other people’s lives, whether they be players, fans. But more important is the health of our country.
‘We need to be sensible in our decision to restart the Premier League or any league for that matter.’