EPL great Gary Neville suggests drastic quarantine measures to complete season

  • EPL legend Gary Neville disagrees with the Premier League's planned schedule.
  • The former Manchester United defender believes that the EPL should enforce stricter guidelines.
Modified 20 May 2020, 14:52 IST

Gary Neville suggests improved measures to complete the EPL season
Gary Neville suggests improved measures to complete the EPL season

Following sensational reports that the players and staff of 3 different EPL clubs have tested positive for the coronavirus, Gary Neville stated that all EPL players must be quarantined for the rest of the season to prevent the spread of the infection.

While the measures suggested by the former Manchester United and EPL defender are quite drastic, they will ensure the completion of an EPL season littered with obstacles and challenges.

6 individuals tested positive after extensive testing was conducted by the EPL to ensure the safety of the professionals involved. Earlier this week, the EPL implemented the first stage of Project Restart and allowed clubs to conduct training sessions in small groups.

Gary Neville compares upcoming EPL schedule to the World Cup

Neville feels that the potential league schedule resembles that of a World Cup
Neville feels that the potential league schedule resembles that of a World Cup

The EPL legend believes that with players and technical staff testing positive earlier this week, strict measures must be implemented if the EPL season is to be completed. Following reports, that a 14-day quarantine period may be set in place for EPL players, Gary Neville suggested that this time frame must be increased to two or three weeks.

"I felt the way that the Premier League would be delivered would be through players being quarantined at a hotel, not for a 14-day period before the first match but for a two to three week period."

Neville also stated that the EPL can follow a schedule similar to the World Cup, where each team plays a game once every two days. The EPL has nine matchdays left to conclude a season, and former Manchester United defender questioned the EPL's decision to spread the games across a period of six weeks.

"I thought they were going to shove the nine games, like a Saturday, Tuesday, Friday, Monday, Thursday and try to get them in as quick as possible, in a really condensed period, where the players would be quarantined for the whole of that period. Almost like a World Cup."
"It's not unusual for players in the Premier League to be away for four, five weeks. Two weeks before the tournament and three weeks during. I'm not really sure why it's going to be spread over six weeks, which seems to be mooted at the moment."

Several players, including the likes of Troy Deeney, have refused to return to training following the crisis. In a discussion with the 'Talk the Talk' podcast, the Watford captain explicitly stated that he valued his surroundings far more than the financial gain that could result from an EPL restart.

Gary Neville for Sky Sports
Gary Neville for Sky Sports

Neville claims that setting up more stringent processes and guidelines and amping up the speed at which the EPL is delivered might alleviate the players' fears.

"I don't see why they wouldn't remain in quarantine? Troy Denney mooted this morning and a couple of other players have mentioned they've got children with vulnerabilities or pregnant partners. Why would they not be quarantined for the whole time and just the 14 days before it starts again?"

The EPL legend went on to reiterate his stance that while a packed schedule might come with its difficulties, it is not impossible to implement. Neville voiced his opinion that it was the only possible solution to a unique problem.

"Absolutely, I went to eight tournaments with England and I was away for five weeks," Neville responded when asked if that would be accepted by the players."

With the EPL looking to restart the league in the safest manner possible, the administrators would do well to take Gary Neville's concerns and suggestions seriously.

Published 20 May 2020, 14:52 IST
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