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Gary Neville claims Premier League clubs are ‘frightened’ to back Premier League restart

Gary Neville has been very outspoken about the Premier League during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has used his role within football media to raise important questions, and with great authority as a former Manchester United captain and England international.

Premier League shareholders met on Friday to discuss plans to finish the current campaign, with reports (via Daily Mail) that some clubs want to abandon the season due to the pandemic.

Neville believes clubs do not want to be held liable should a player become ill with the coronavirus if football resumes.

Claiming there needs to be more public comment from clubs, Neville took to Twitter: “The PL are having a CV nightmare. They keep shouting Health First but then brief constantly ‘We want to Re-Start’.

“I’d respect them more if they said ‘We accept the increase in Health Risk but it’s one we are willing to take’. They won’t as they are frightened to death!”

When Neville was asked by a Twitter user what would happen if someone died as a result of a restart, he added: “That’s why we haven’t heard one single prominent CEO / Chairman / Owner or Executive open his mouth to back the re-start ! Brief / Brief / Brief! Scared to death of the liability and blame.”

However, it’s worth pointing out that Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish did make the case for a Premier League return in a Sunday Times column.

“I believe that just as Formula One is often the precursor to developments that become standard in general road vehicles, so Premier League football with its physical science, medical infrastructures and resources for looking after its people, can begin to define how the ‘new normal’ might look for a lot of working environments,” Parish wrote.

But see Germany where there are hopes to restart the Bundesliga this month — May 9 — depending on whether they get permission from the German government.

Three people have tested positive for COVID-19 at Cologne which shows their decision was premature and it is still not safe to return to action.

“Cologne had the entire team and coaching staff, along with the backroom staff, tested on Thursday for COVID-19. Three people tested positive, all are symptom free,” the club said in a statement, as per RTÉ.

“After an assessment of the cases by the responsible health authorities, the three people who tested positive will go into a 14-day quarantine at home.

“Cologne will not confirm any names out of respect for the privacy of those affected.”

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