Captain Troy Deeney of Watford outlined his reasons for refusing to return to training – including the concerns of his young son and the unresolved BAME player issues.
The agreement between the 20 Premier League teams will see small group training back on Tuesday’s agenda, with further meetings to discuss contact training scheduled for May 26.
Deeney suggested that he had failed to get the assurances he had been seeking from his plans to stay home. Speaking on their Talk the Talk YouTube show to Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew, the Hornets strikers said: “We are due back next week. I said I’m not going. I asked very clear questions during the meeting. They are four times more likely to get the disease for Black, Asian, and mixed ethnicities, and twice as likely to have a long-lasting illness: Are there any more screenings? Heart stuff to see if anyone has a problem? “I believe it should be discussed. I can’t get a haircut until mid-July so I can go in a 19-person box and run for a header? I don’t know how it works.”
Nobody could answer the questions – not because they didn’t want to, because they didn’t have the details. “I just said, ‘If you don’t know the information, why should I put myself at risk?’.
Expanding on his previous hesitation to return to work, he said, “It only takes one person to become infected. I don’t want to take it home — my son is five months old and he’s had breathing problems. I don’t want to come home and put him in more risk. You have to drive back with the same filthy outfit – whether I put my clothes in the clothes of my son or the clothes of my missus, it’s more likely to be in and around the house.”
“I lost my wife, my dad, my mother … I lost more or less everything I care about. That’s more important to me than a few quid in my back pocket.”