This is how Stoke City number one is trying to help during coronavirus crisis



Stoke City number one Jack Butland says he fears for friends in the game as the coronavirus crisis bites hard and starts to hit people in the pocket.

Butland acknowledges the privileged end of the game, but says he has played with plenty of players down the years who could soon be struggling soon.

He warns that football towards the lower of the market has the same concerns as the general public.

Butland, who is Stoke’s representative for the Professional Footballers’ Association, says: “I’ve been in contact with them regarding what they are trying to do and what players are asking questions about, but we are in a situation where there’s still a lot of unknowns.

“As far as contracts and wages, we are a business like everyone else, but everyone has their different cashflows in terms of the companies that own clulbs and everyone will be affected slightly different.

“The PFA is doing its best to provide support for everyone, with players coming to the end of contracts and wondering if they are going to be paid.

“People have mortgages to pay and it’s very much the same as it is for everyone else. It affects people’s jobs like everyone else.”

Butland, who has also played at Birmingham Leeds, Derby, Barnsley and Cheltenham in the past, continued: “I’ve been at many clubs throughout my career and no two clubs are the same, they are run by different companies with different backgrounds.

“There will be clubs that are very much hand-to-mouth and relying on games for income.

“Taking those incomes away is going to have a direct affect and there’s clubs that are certainly going to struggle which is going to create a worry for players.

“It’s going to affect football players like it’s going to affect anyone.

“I don’t want to say we are lucky to be in the position we (Stoke City) are as a club because you just don’t know.

“There’s worries from all perspectives, whether it’s financial or health.

“I think everyone is looking to everyone for answers and we are all as uncertain as anyone else in any other line of work.”

Butland, in an extensive interview with BBC Radio Stoke, admitted there was odd feel to Stoke’s last training session back on Friday March 13 when the players realised they could be in for a lengthy lay off.

“It very much had an end-of-season feel about it.

“It’s a strange and odd feeling. The atmosphere, despite the lads and the training ground being the same, there was a different feeling about it.

“I think every day and every hour is bringing more and more questions and uncertainty, it’s a time that none of us have ever experienced before with the potential closure of seasons, the delaying of games and with the health and safety of friends and family.

“It’s a really uncertain and nervy time.”





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