EPL and EFL medical staff angry about lack of communication as football plans return
- High percentage of medical staff working for EPL, EFL are angry about the lack of consultation they've had
- Almost 50% of EPL respondents do not fully understand roles and responsibilities as training returns
A survey of 138 EPL and Football League medical staff across England's top four divisions doctors and physiotherapists found more than half do not fully understand their roles.
The UK's Project Restart has been in full flow over the past few weeks, with all 20 EPL clubs unanimously agreeing today to start socially distant group training sessions from tomorrow.
However, this latest update emphasises the issues at hand.
A significant number of frontline medical practioners - including doctors, physiotherapists and sports therapists - do not believe they have been fully or effectively consulted surrounding medical issues relating to first-team training making its return.
During a Football Medicine and Performance Association (FMPA) statement today, a number of issues that need resolving were identified.
They include "professional indemnity and medical malpractice insurance, poor communication and being placed under pressure to conform," as EPL clubs will begin the next phase of training tomorrow - a step-up from individual sessions previously imposed.
EPL medical staff angry after being left in the dark
As per the statement, almost 50% of respondents within the EPL and 68% in the EFL reported they do not fully understand their roles, responsibilities and potential liability in regards to a training return.
Many suggested Project Restart was heading in the right direction after clubs agreed to small group training sessions, but FMPA CEO Eamonn Salmon said they are yet to receive a copy of the medical protocol from either the EPL or EFL - so there's clearly more work to be done.
You can read the statement in full, here:
As we reported earlier, EPL chief executive Richard Masters confirmed the league's target resumption date - June 12 - is a flexible one and subject to change.
Players will have to maintain social distancing rules during training sessions in small groups, though contact work is not yet permitted. For those tested over the past 48 hours, the first batch of results should be in by 2pm local time tomorrow, after which time training can begin.
Elsewhere, EPL medical advisor Dr Mark Gillett was quoted as saying:
"They've made it very clear that the social situation, the public health situation, is not going to change over the next 6-12 months."
What about the Championship?
The EPL's decisions also directly impact those of England's second-tier, the Championship.
They have plans to complete COVID-19 testing for all 24 clubs before resuming training next Monday, with a tentative resumption date of June 20 - where teams would play on five consecutive weekends, midweeks in-between and play-offs from late July onwards.
Championship leaders Leeds and West Brom currently occupy the two automatic promotion places into next season's EPL, while third-placed Fulham hold a four-point advantage over their next play-off rivals.