Bristol City midfielder Kasey Palmer has backed Watford captain Troy Deeney, who recently questioned the Premier League’s decision to resume fixtures next month.
The Watford captain missed out on training this week, along with six of his teammates. It comes over fears of the current pandemic hitting his family, and several players including Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson have backed him.
Palmer, 23, has also stated his admiration and backing for Deeney. He said in a video interview with Sky Sports:
“If my little boy had breathing problems, the same way Troy Deeney’s little boy has breathing problems, I’d be exactly the same.
“Fans need to realise that footballers are just humans. Some fans are saying, ‘who does he think he is? How can he be so selfish?’ And I’m thinking, ‘selfish?’ – for me that’s unselfish; you’d be selfish going to play.
“If you’re kid’s at risk, I don’t think you go and play football, regardless of finances. As a man, as a father, a leader of his household, he’d be silly if he did.
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“I fully respect him and he’s showing leadership, not just in his household by stepping up for his son, but in terms of the dressing he’s standing up and saying, ‘if it’s not safe for me, I’m not going to put myself, my family and my little boy at risk for a game of football.'”
Championship training is set to resume from Monday. They too are hoping to resume the season next month with each team in the Championship having nine fixtures left to play.
Fans are seemingly no closer to finding out how the season will deal with promotion and relegation though – whether they’ll be confirmed before the season is resumed, or decided in the remainder of the season – and the closer we get to June, the more uncertain things become.
More and more footballers are backing Deeney, and more are pulling out of training amid fears for their own health – N’Golo Kante being the latest big name to do so.
If more Premier League footballers say the same things as Deeney then that mantra will seep down into the Championship and beyond. Everyone would like to see the football back but these things obviously can’t be rushed.
We’re still playing a waiting game with the Premier League and the EFL, and the longer it goes on the more likely it is that we won’t see any more football until later in the year.