Wayne Rooney backed Liverpool as deserving Premier League winners and said the season must be completed – even at the expense of 2020-21
Wayne Rooney said he believes the coronavirus pandemic might mean the loss of the 2020-21 season in English football but insisted the Football Association is right to prioritise completing the current season whenever that becomes possible.
The former England captain commended the FA’s decision to extend the length of the current season indefinitely, describing it as “the fair thing” for promotion, relegation and title races to be settled.
Rooney, who plays for Derby County in the Championship, indicated he is opposed to matches being played behind closed doors given the strain emergency services are already under across the UK.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if finishing the season takes until the end of 2020,” Rooney said in The Times.
“Football, like every other industry, is in unknown territory and, just like every other industry, has to listen to the advice and take all necessary precautions. For me, that rules out finishing the season behind closed doors.
“When you play behind closed doors it still means bringing together a fairly large group of people. You need ambulances, doctors, paramedics. They’re mandatory. Police may be needed too. Why bring them all to a football match when in this crisis they will be needed elsewhere for things that are far more important?
“I wouldn’t be comfortable playing a game knowing there were people dying or very sick because of coronavirus and we’re taking those workers away from the front line.”
Our board has agreed to extend the 2019-20 professional football season indefinitely, with leagues and competitions now suspended until at least 30 April. https://t.co/tVh1EadOta
— The FA (@FA) March 19, 2020
Despite enjoying two spells at Everton and spending 13 years at Manchester United, Rooney hailed his former clubs’ rivals Liverpool as deserving winners of the Premier League and tipped them to finish the job when the season resumes.
Derby are 12th in the Championship but only five points outside the play-off positions, and Rooney underlined the importance of avoiding the legal ramifications that abandonment of the current season would trigger.
“The FA helped to clarify that the league season will finish and that is fair,” said the 34-year-old striker.
“Liverpool will win the Premier League. [They] have been fantastic. They have put so much work in. They deserve this title. Can you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this? The right decision has been made.
“It’s also right in terms of promotion and relegation and places. These issues are so big for the clubs involved that I imagine there would be a lot of legal fights if the season was just abandoned. The fair thing is to finish 2019-20 — even if we have to lose next season in the process.”
Portsmouth FC suggests Zorbing to resume EPL !!!
As an exit to the current Corona Virus trap for the EPL season a weird suggestion came up from Hampshire
• The Portsmouth club administration proposes to complete the season by wearing each zorb player to limit the spread of Corona
• Also, they suggested that the fans wear it, too!
Rashford edging closer to full fitness: I feel 10 times better now
He has been out since mid-January but Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford says he is edging closer to a return to training.
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is in a “much better place” than a month ago as he nears a return to full fitness.
Rashford has been out since mid-January due to a back injury, with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying earlier this month the club would not rush his comeback.
The England international is making good progress, though, and suggests he will be ready to resume training once the squad are cleared to go back to work after the coronavirus pandemic.
“I feel much better,” Rashford told Sky Sports News. “I have a scan in another couple of days and that should solidify it, but I feel much better compared to two or three weeks ago.
“I feel 10 times better now. For me, now it’s just about getting ready to build back up to training and then playing games for the team.
“I’m in a much better place. I’m much happier than I was about a month ago, so things are looking positive.”
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) March 26, 2020
Rashford says his recent rehabilitation has been carried out at home due to the restrictions put in place to control the impact of COVID-19.
“Everyone is just dealing with the circumstances as well as they can,” he added.
“I’ve just been in my house doing my gym work and recovery, reading books, watching Netflix and just doing what I can do to make the time pass further.
“There’s not really anything you can do that comes close to being in the changing room and being in the team, so I’m not trying to chase that high.
“I had to have time off anyway because of my injury, but I’m fortunate enough to have a bike in the gym downstairs. Not much in that sense has actually changed for me because I can still do my daily routine that I was doing.”
Rashford is also heading up a campaign for the FareShare charity, which aims to raise £100,000 to help supply food to children who usually have free school meals but are currently unable to access them.
“I didn’t know how high the numbers were of kids not eating at home other than school meals. That number kind of shocked me,” Rashford said.
“And then I remember speaking to a friend who was saying there was an opportunity where we can help these people and FareShare allowed us to make it work.
“I don’t think I’ve actually ever done something at such short notice before. I thought let’s try and get to £100,000 and right now we’re on £97,000.”
Coronavirus: Brady admits Liverpool all but own title, reveals West Ham have eight in isolation
Karren Brady has revealed West Ham have eight players showing mild symptoms of COVID-19 – and has made a U-turn over the 2019-20 season.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has gone back on her previous claim that the season should be voided, saying the title is “all but owned by Liverpool” as the the Premier League aims to return to action.
Brady was criticised earlier this month for suggesting in a newspaper column that the top-flight campaign in England should be declared null and void due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
She was accused of putting her own club’s interests first, with the Hammers only outside the Premier League relegation zone by virtue of goal difference.
Her suggestion riled Liverpool supporters in particular, given the expectation they will claim their first league title in 30 years should the season be completed.
She defended her initial comments, saying she was merely thinking of players and fans amid the coronavirus pandemic, but has now said the Premier League plan to “get going as soon as possible” still stands.
“It is a paradox that at a time football would be a great comfort to millions, it must not be played because, rightly, people’s health is our priority,” Brady wrote in The Sun.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) March 28, 2020
“What is going on in our country and the world is unprecedented and the game is not a necessity – like food or healthcare.
“But to millions upon millions of us, football’s disappearance from life is very relevant indeed. So, we all want it back in a hurry.
“There’s the Premier League to be decided although, obviously, not the title – which is all but owned by Liverpool.
“But neither the Premier League nor the EFL have finished this season’s games. Plus, there is the FA Cup, continental leagues, European competitions, European Championship and almost everything in between.
“The next Premier League meeting is on Friday and the main topic of conversation will be when games can restart. When we – all Premier League clubs – last spoke, we agreed to get going again as soon as possible. And that games will run into July, if required, to get this campaign finished.
“This is the plan. This is what we want to deliver.”
Brady also revealed eight West Ham players went into self-isolation after showing mild symptoms of the virus.
“Players are currently not in training and housebound to comply with social distancing rules currently in place until April 13, when we expect training to restart,” she added.
“And following further Government guidelines, we have eight West Ham players in isolation. Although I am relieved to say they are all showing mild symptoms and, along with their families, seem to be well.”
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