The ethics behind restarting the Premier League – Conservative Article
It is less than a week until teams take to the pitch, three months since the English Premier League (EPL) was suspended. On the 17th June, Aston Villa and Sheffield United will share the privilege of being the first clubs to play a game under ‘Project Restart’. However, has this process been plain sailing? Should the top division be restarted while other leagues and sports are overlooked?
Players and club staff have been tested twice-weekly for nearly two months now. In that time, there have been 14 positive tests from a total of nearly 7,500 being carried out. This seems like more than enough of a precaution and will reassure the professionals and the clubs alike. So, from Wednesday our TVs won’t be subjected to rerun after rerun of The Chase or Tipping Point but will spark into action.
All plain sailing? All EPL clubs now have large testing capacities and have adhered to phase-by-phase protocols for training. This is in stark contrast to social media reports showing players disobeying distancing rules both for their own pleasure and so that they could train with teammates.
Yet, there are still some clubs who are not completely satisfied with the prospect of having to deal with individual player-preferences regarding social distancing. If protocols are not adhered to, there is the possibility of high positive-test results. There could also be COVID-19 related disadvantages on the pitch if significant numbers of squad members are having to isolate.
Given the daily death tolls are still three figures high, I can see why there is an objection to the EPL restarting. While I have no doubt that the utmost caution is being taken, as it has been during training, people are understandably wary that these measures may still not be enough to defend against this ‘invisible killer’. I would certainly not be supporting the restart had it taken place in mid-May, as originally planned.
Lockdown has not been plain sailing for these clubs. Furloughed staff, backtracking and continued loss of revenue. Coupled with huge revenue potential for broadcasters like Sky Sports, Amazon and others. We can see why the EPL is under pressure to get things restarted. I firmly agree that there is a good substance behind the data that is allowing the top tier to restart.
Lockdown has allowed one advantage at least. I can certainly hold my hands up and say the prospect of seeing my team have fully fit, attacking options once more is very attractive. We may yet turn our season around!
Others, I know, will not want to see Liverpool take the title (they need two wins from their remaining nine games). Allowing and facilitating the EPL to restart must be a national priority. It will be key to boosting national morale!
Not everyone will be glued to their TV for Wednesday’s doubleheader of football, but it is a start. People may feel that the top tier shouldn’t restart while lower leagues have had seasons concluded or overlooked. I believe this is another issue, given that relief funds have been set up to support the lower league clubs.
Overall, I see the worth in restarting a hugely profitable UK export. The EPL generates a huge broadcasting revenue every year. I believe it also has the potential to raise the nation’s spirits and help some of those worst affected mentally by the lockdown and isolation. This might be the start of a new normal, but it is a start, and we need it.
Written by Conservative Writer, Joshua Tyrrell
Point of Information
The economic benefit of the Premier League is not worth the health risk – a Liberal response
Am I looking forward to the Premier League starting? Yes. Am going to watch every game possible? 100% yes. However, do I want it to come back? No. There is a massive concern with the Premier League being brought back early. I don’t think now is the right time.
Firstly, we still have very high death rates, the highest in Europe. There are tonnes of precautions in place but you can simply never know if the virus is present. If it is, it will spread like wildfire and there will be a second wave. The League will be postponed again, hurting our economy and the clubs’ financial situations even further.
This concern can be shown clearly with the cancellation of the Manchester United vs Stoke City game. Michael O’Neill, Stoke City manager, tested positive for Covid-19 early this week. Despite all the concern, all the precautions, all the tests and all the requirements, a member of the footballing community still caught the virus. We cannot be 100% safe, and the risk is not worth taking.
Written by Liberal Writer, Max Anderson
Restarting the EPL has its appeal, but so does saving lives – a Labour response
As the above article shows, the return of the Premier League is enough for football fans to start salivating. After all, our daily lives have been turned upside down. Any prospect of returning to a degree of normality is understandably greeted with excitement.
Josh makes a convincing case for the return of the Prem, whilst also recognising the real issues surrounding the discussion as well. Personally, I have to admit I’m on the fence. I’ve looked over most of the measures that will be put into place so the season can go ahead and they seem to be as comprehensive as possible under the circumstances.
Real life will have to return at some point. We should recognise that it will be accompanied by an underlying element of risk.
There’s no escaping the spectre of infection, however. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that a return will lead to a second wave, we are still in an incredibly serious situation in this country. Conservative handling of the pandemic has been close to shambolic. Special treatment for the Premier League only plays into the idea that Boris and Co. are more concerned with the financial implications. Should we put people before profit? Maybe asking the question is enough to see the answer.
Written by Labour Writer, Evan Saunders