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Rose says players aren't lab rats as Premier League targets restart after coronavirus lockdown

Newcastle United defender Danny Rose (right) says Premier League players are being treated like lab rats.
Newcastle United defender Danny Rose (right) says Premier League players are being treated like lab rats. AFP/File
3 min

Newcastle United defender Danny Rose has hit out at plans to restart top flight football in England claiming that players are being treated like expendable test animals.

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"People are suggesting we should go back to football, like we're guinea pigs or lab rats,” Rose told the Lockdown Tactics podcast.

“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."

Positive tests

Rose’s comments came as it emerged that six people at Burnley, Watford and an unnamed club had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan was among those affected.

"He will remain in close communication with club personnel regarding his re-engagement in training once he is clear of the virus," Burnley said in a statement.

"Of those three positive tests, one is a player and two are members of staff,” said a Watford statement on Wednesday. “All three have asked that medical confidentiality be respected and, therefore, the club will not be naming those involved."

On Tuesday, Premier League teams stared training in teams of up to six while maintaining their distance. The plan is for the groups to become larger before full training resumes with a target of mid-June for Premier League matches.

However several Premier League stars have expressed concerns about the phased resumption of the season including the Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

I won't train - Deeney

Watford skipper Troy Deeney said he would not train due to his concerns over infecting his family and the greater susceptibility to the coronavirus of Black, Asian and mixed ethnicity players.

When the Premier League was suspended on 13 March, Liverpool were 25 points clear of second-placed Manchester City and poised to hoist their first domestic championship for 30 years.

There was also intrigue in the fight for berths leading to next season’s Uefa Champions League as well as the battle to avoid relegation into the second division.

Premier League clubs have accepted that matches will be played without fans and teams will have to follow strict health guidelines which include regular testing for the coronavirus.

Bundesliga return

A similar regime was in operation over last weekend in the German Bundesliga which resumed behind closed doors after a two-month break.

While league authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland and France cancelled their respective campaigns, there are plans for Portugal’s Primeira Liga, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A to return in June along the German model.

On Wednesday, Aleksander Ceferin, the boss of European football’s governing body, Uefa, said he did not expect supporters to be away from stadiums for too long.

"I don’t like this apocalyptic view that we have to wait for the second and third waves or even a fifth wave,” he said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper.

“People you know are likely to die one day, but do we have to be worried today? I don’t think so. We are ready and we will follow the recommendations of the authorities but I’m absolutely sure, personally, that good old football with fans will come back very soon.”

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