English Premiership

Watford boss fearful of fatality if Premier League season resumes

Nigel Pearson (Getty Images)
Nigel Pearson (Getty Images)

Watford manager Nigel Pearson has raised the possibility of a coronavirus-related death should the Premier League season resume amid the pandemic.

English top-flight teams could return to some type of training next week following a Premier League meeting on Monday where medical protocols will be voted on and there are plans to get matches going again by mid-June.

Pearson, however, has doubts about 'Project Restart' with much of Britain still in lockdown due to Covid-19.

"God forbid we have a fatality," he told The Times.

"People are closing their eyes to the threat.

"Yes, we would like to restart it but it's got to be safe. We should be cautious. To ignore possibilities is foolhardy. It's about safeguarding people's health."

Pearson, whose Watford side are presently above the relegation zone on goal difference alone, added: "We have to try to believe (British Government) advice that we're being given that we've reached the peak but there's still an incredible number of people losing their lives through this.

"The death toll in the UK is anything between 33 000 and 38 000. That's filling our stadium and then filling it half again. It's a sobering thought."

Meanwhile, Norwich captain Grant Hanley has become the latest Premier League player to express concerns about a resumption of the season, with Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, Tottenham's Danny Rose, on-loan at Newcastle this season, and Brighton's Glenn Murray having already voiced their worries.

"I think the overall feeling is that players have got concerns," Hanley told Sky Sports.

"Looking at the protocols for going back to training, I think that's probably fair enough. But it's just the next step after that, like where do we go from there? In terms of going back into contact training and games.

"My missus is pregnant and she's due at the start of July, so there's obviously worries there for myself.

"There's nothing (in terms of the) sort of information being given to us on, for example, how do we travel to games? Where do we stay? What are the hotels? How can we guarantee hotels are going to be safe for us to be in?

"Ultimately it's putting your family at risk that is the main concern and that's the worry I think all the teams will have at this minute in time."

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