Daily Supplement: Could Premier League players suffer burnout?

English football is facing a backlog of fixtures once the leagues resume following the coronavirus pandemic, and that could lead to problems further down the line.

The back page of The Sun has raised fears that Premier League players could suffer from having to play too much football once the season resumes.

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Journalist Tom Barclay from that paper was a special guest on The Daily Supplement, and he told Sky Sports: “There’s no action at all at the moment, and it may go on for some time even beyond April 30, so it may seem confusing at first, but actually this is part of the reason why it could lead to a burnout.

“Players are fearing there could be a big fixture pile-up going forward when finally the games are allowed to be played. That could lead to possible worries over injuries.

“We’re told that England players are going to have a discussion with their union, the PFA, because particularly if you’re an England player, you may face the possibility of having 14 months without a break.

“Finishing this season, going straight into next season and with the Euros postponed until 2021, there’s an anxiety over what they might mean.”

Elsewhere on the show, The Times journalist Molly Hudson heaped praise on the philanthropy shown by Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha after he offered free use of 50 properties to NHS staff who are battling the coronavirus outbreak in central London hospitals.

Hudson said: “Zaha has done something incredible for those who are going through much tougher times than footballers right now – people on the front line working for the NHS.

“We see footballers only on the pitch sometimes and see the reputation given to them by other fans, but Zaha does a lot of work with orphans in the Ivory Coast and this is just another example of him giving back to his community.

“He’s on around £130,000 a week, but this shows he is willing to give back to society, which is so important at the moment.”

Will Premier League players take pay cuts?

The government’s latest measures to support businesses during the coronavirus crisis could be a gamechanger for many lower league clubs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Friday evening the government will pay 80 per cent of wages for employees who are unable to work during the pandemic, up to £2,500 per month.

The scheme is backdated to the beginning of March, and not due to begin until the end of April, but is due to last three months.

Despite the unprecedented intervention, Soccer Saturday pundit Alan McInally has urged the government to provide clubs at a lower level with financial help.

He told Sky Sports: “We know there’s a tiered system because the guys in the Premier League do make good money and are on good wages. Most of the clubs will be financially OK, but gradually as you come down the leagues, there are going to be clubs who are going to be in big problems.

“I know that some players are thinking of taking a percentage off their wages to help. There are so many people within a football club and there is a real family community at every level.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of fans who will also be quite happy to bail clubs out as well to a small extent obviously.

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