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Should football restart and the thoughts of some players upon this topic justified?

At first, it's important to take needed precautions and we hope for everyone's well being. The whole world is going through an unfor...



At first, it's important to take needed precautions and we hope for everyone's well being. The whole world is going through an unfortunate situation and waiting for normalcy to resume.

That brings up the question "Should football restart and our thoughts of some players upon this topic be justified?”

Let's start with some quotes by respective players:

Danny Rose told the Lockdown Tactics podcast: "People are suggesting we should go back to football like we're guinea pigs or lab rats. We're going to experiment this phase and see if it works or not.

"I can just imagine people at home saying, 'Well they earn that amount of money so they should be going back'.

"For stuff like that I think, is it worth the hassle? I could be potentially risking my health for people's entertainment and that's not something I want to be involved in, if I'm honest." (News18)

Raheem Sterling stated: “You can’t come back in with one-and-a-half or two weeks (of training). “You’d need a full four to five weeks, especially if you’re going to go back into competition, when you’re literally paid to win. You do need to do that preparation – you can’t just go straight in.” (Talksports)

Troy Deeney stated: "While we are getting tested and while we are going to be in a very safe environment, it only takes one person to get infected within a group for that to be a one to six ratio and again, I don't want to be bringing that home.

 "I've just had a son, my son is five months old, he had breathing difficulties, so I don't want to come home to put him in more danger. (Sport Bible)

"Obviously, the players are scared. Especially because they have kids, families, maybe they're with their parents," Sergio Aguero told Spanish TV station El Chiringuito. (CNN)

Friction in Opinion:

This has caused varied debates towards the restarting of the footballing world. Some people are of the opinion to start the season as football is a source of income for lots of people. Many clubs aren't capable of surviving the pandemic and paying its players and staff without income. With lockdown slowly being relaxed, some believe that the Premier League must be restarted. Life at some point must be restarted with the hope of some solution not in sight for now.

Others are of the opinion that safety must be of paramount importance. Football comes second to concerns of the Pandemic. For many, players' concerns are thrown aside due to their high wages, and their life isn't given importance. Along with concerns about players' fitness after such a long break continues this debate.

Both sides have fair and understandable points. Therefore this topic has become debatable among the football community. I'll give my reasons by giving the pros and cons of Football restarting and then giving my final opinion on it:

Pros:

Football clubs are losing a lot of income at this stage of time. Sometimes people overreact if this is talked about but it is of paramount importance. With big money offered in Premier League, voiding the league would just not be disastrous to Authorities but also to all the clubs partaking in it. Many clubs survive on matchday revenue and that has already been taken away for at least a year due to pandemic. If this income goes away, it could be catastrophic to the future of those clubs. Let's not begin to fathom the damages to clubs in lower divisions. Neither have they had big funds nor the matchday revenue. I live in India and people might call me an overseas fan but I could understand the love a fan has for their club. Its survival is of utmost importance and therefore, restarting football back is of utmost concern.

A lot of People's livelihood depends upon football. Players' concerns are valid but you cannot endanger living for all the other people who earn and live with the help of this beautiful sport. This could go on for at least a year and football cannot be stopped for such long periods.

It would ease the problem about conclusions and qualifications from the League position. If season gets voided, it will be very difficult to conclude the season in a fair manner. Playing in the Champions League and Europa League has a massive difference in revenues for the teams. Missing one of them could be massively catastrophic. Sheffield United sit one point behind United at 5th and 3 points behind Chelsea at 4th. They also have a game in hand against Aston Villa. If it is decided by PPG (Points Per Game), it would be very unfair to teams like Sheffield. Staying and relegated from the Premier League has massive implications. One decision could change the entire landscape of a club. We have seen clubs like Sunderland, Blackburn, etc. to not return to Premier League after relegation. So by completing this season, the integrity of the league stays intact and it ends in a fair and just manner.

Cons:

Players' concern is always thrown aside due to the high wages they earn. Even if they speak something intellectual, it’s thrown aside as a player’s entitlement. If they don't take a wage cut then it’s a problem, if they are concerned for their family then it’s a problem. Many players would want to get back playing the sport they love but this condition has been unfortunate for everyone involved. Troy Deeney's concern is very valid and understandable. No one would want to put the life of their respective family members in danger. So why are players crucified for giving their thoughts on this situation? We need to understand and appreciate their concerns for the wellbeing of their family members.

Getting football right now hampers a lot of factors. From fitness concerns of the players after such a long break to regular testing, it’s a detailed and lengthy process. To get players back to full fitness is of utmost importance to their respective clubs. At least 4-5 weeks of training before starting it the season must be provided for regaining full fitness. With Champions League returning in August and many clubs who still have a game in hand, fixture arranging causes a massive problem.

With the commencement of Bundesliga the previous week, difficulty in starting the season presently showed. From fitness issues and injuries to no celebrations due to distancing protocols have shown the problems and change football will undergo this year.
 
These are the Pros and Cons of starting it as of present. Below I give my final opinion on the above concerns.

My Opinion:

I respect everyone's opinion on this topic and understand their sentiment towards restarting it or not. One thing we need to understand is that whatever authorities decide, it will give hardship short term. Starting it could hamper the fitness and health of the players. Whereas voiding it would cause losses to clubs and their employees along with questioning the integrity of League position.

For me, the league has to be started. All precautions must be adhered to and voiding options must not be dismissed. Player's concern shouldn't be thrown aside because they get to earn big wages. We need to understand their sentiments and concerns. Playing with distancing and no crowds will be hard to digest for lots of people. This beautiful sport used to be a stress breaker for people but we need to respect this pandemic and its consequences. We void it or not, crowds won't be allowed at least till 2021. It will take a long time for life to return towards the way it used to be. Leaving football aside, at some point in time we all need to make adjustments with this unfortunate situation. I don't want football to return for entertainment but for other crucial reasons. Players need to maintain their families and they can’t be forced to take pay cuts. On the other hand, how do we believe clubs would survive by paying with no returns? 

There will be losses for clubs irrespective of voiding or restarting it but at least it will reduce significantly with the commencement of League. Now the question arises "Were players take justified?” Absolutely justified in my opinion. Many people are bashing the player’s opinion if it differs to theirs. It must not be done. Their concerns are valid and authorities must only start it with following all the protocols and precautions. With 9 matchdays left in the Premier League, it is easily manageable if properly implemented. Keeping 3 weeks with single matches and then 3 weeks with double game weeks could help in easing the workload. It will help to finish it within 6 weeks and allowing player's fitness to not be hampered. Therefore in my opinion, it must be started with following proper precautions.

We all hope for the safety and well being of everyone. Take care and follow all the precautions as advised by the authorities. I hope you understand my take on this situation.


Written by - Shrey Oberoi
Twitter - @Shrey765


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