Is winning over Premier League players biggest threat to 'project restart'?

As they work through the logistics of “project restart”, winning over its players would seem to be one of the big barriers to resuming the 2019-20 Premier League season.
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While Sheffield United's players have consistently come across as keen to get back onto the pitch, with Enda Stevens and John Egan both voicing their support for a restart in Thursday's Yorkshire Post, others have been less enthusiastic.

Clubs captains and coaches were involved in Wednesday's Premier League meeting and while the coaches are thought to have insisted on four weeks' preparation, effectively putting back the league's intended June 12 restart date, the players are said to have expressed more fundamental concerns, about training and those with underlying conditions, such as asthma.

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RESERVATIONS: Brighton and Hove Albion's Glenn Murray (right) has doubts about "project restart", despite the support of Sheffield United players such as John Egan (left)RESERVATIONS: Brighton and Hove Albion's Glenn Murray (right) has doubts about "project restart", despite the support of Sheffield United players such as John Egan (left)
RESERVATIONS: Brighton and Hove Albion's Glenn Murray (right) has doubts about "project restart", despite the support of Sheffield United players such as John Egan (left)

Brighton and Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray has called on the game to take its time, insisting: "Football isn't necessarily a necessity - it's a game, it's a sport.”

He also cautioned against blindly following Germany's Bundesliga, which resumes at the weekend. As Huddersfield Town's German captain Christopher Schindler pointed out to The Yorkshire Post this week, conditions in the two countries are not comparable.

"What if we go through all this rigmarole of trying to get back started, and we have a second peak and we're stopped anyways?” cautioned Murray.

"I just can't understand after just sort of loosening the lockdown why we're in such a rush to get it back. Why can't we just wait sort of a month or so to see if things go to plan?

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"Why not see how the country deal with softening the lockdown first before we even think about starting unnecessary sport when people are dying all around us and the death rates are still high?

"Obviously we're all going to be watching the Bundesliga because it's football and we all love football," Murray said. "It'll be nice to see a live sport on TV without doubt.

"But I think what we're not taking into consideration is that Germany have only had seven, eight thousand deaths, I think, and they've got 20 million more people than us.

"We're up to like 34,000 now - we're the worst hit in Europe. No one seems to take that in consideration."

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The Premier League is continuing talks with the Football Association, Football League and Government ahead of a meeting on Monday when clubs could be asked to vote on “Project restart”.

UEFA has set its leagues a May 25 deadline to outline plans and timetables for their resumption – or abandonment.

Murray is the latest in a number of high-profile players to speak out this week. Doncaster-born defender Danny Rose, on loan at Newcastle United from Tottenham Hotspur, Tyrone Mings and Raheem Sterling also voiced their reservations this week.

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