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.”