‘It has to be safe for everyone’ – Port Vale ace on behind-closed-doors football



Port Vale keeper Scott Brown says football should only resume behind closed doors if it is safe for everyone and doesn’t distract from the national effort to tackle coronavirus.

The football season has been suspended since March 13 but the EFL have written to clubs saying they are still hopeful it can be completed in the summer months. However, they have warned that would be behind closed doors.

In the meantime, the league has told its clubs not to call in their players for training until May 16 at the earliest.

Brown, who is also Vale’s PFA representative, said: “It will be great when we can get back but it has to be only when it is safe for everyone.

“I read the other day that all the players would be tested before they go back. But we should be the least priority to get tested. NHS workers and people like that should be the first to get tested instead of footballers just because they want us to play games.

“There are a lot more important people than footballers, there are people putting their lives on the line working every day and they should be tested before anyone else.  There are deaths every day and, until that is under control, that is the most important thing.

“We are not back in until May 16 at the earliest so we will have a clearer picture at that time what the situation is.”

He says players’ safety could also be a concern if games were brought back in the summer, depending on the situation in the country.

He’s also concerned about the finances of lower division clubs, but added: “We are so lucky that we have fantastic owners and Colin Garlick does a fantastic job as chief executive. We are really grateful to the owners and hopefully we can reward them when we get back on the pitch.”

In the meantime, the keeper has been among the players phoning fans and has also donated a pair of gloves to be auctioned for the NHS.

He said: “The NHS are getting publicity now, and rightly so. But they deserve so much more praise for the work they do every day, before and after this virus has come and gone.

“They should be a lot better rewarded financially for everything they do.”

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