Crystal Palace star Andros Townsend says football is IRRELEVANT right now as he backs the Premier League to put off a decision on ending the season… before restarting the remaining games once coronavirus is beaten
- Townsend believes football is ‘irrelevant’ during the coronavirus lockdown
- But he is keen to play out the Premier League season when it’s safe again
- 92 matches remain to be completed in the top-flight when football resumes
- Crystal Palace winger has donated to NHS through #PlayersTogether initiative
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend says football is ‘irrelevant’ amid the coronavirus pandemic but believes the Premier League season needs to be concluded to preserve its integrity when it’s safe to do so.
England’s top division has been suspended since March 13 with the UK in lockdown to prevent the spread of the killer virus.
The Premier League clubs agreed to work towards a best case scenario of a return to training in the middle of next month and possibly a resumption of the season in June.
Crystal Palace’s Townsend believes football is ‘irrelevant’ during the Covid-19 lockdown
Townsend wants the Premier League season to be played to a conclusion when safe to do so
But that will depend on Government guidance on safety and Townsend, whose Palace team sit 11th in the table, hopes the remaining 92 games can be played.
‘My view has always been that the league should finish and I’m sure it will finish,’ he said.
‘At the moment the Premier League and football is irrelevant, the only thing that is relevant at the minute is the NHS saving lives and us all chipping in and trying to do what we can to help them along the way.
‘When the time comes and they do eventually beat this virus and football becomes relevant again, we need to be ready and we need to give the people that follow football their fix back and hopefully by doing that we need to complete the season.
‘We need to keep the integrity of the Premier League and keep everything ticking over and hopefully we can do that as safely as possible when the time comes.
‘We need to make sure football has a sustainable future and I think the best way to do that is to keep everyone happy and finish the season.’
Townsend challenges Kieran Tierney of Arsenal during October’s match at the Emirates
Tricky winger Townsend believes the season must be played out to preserve league’s integrity
Townsend is among dozens of Premier League footballers donating money to the NHS in order to fight coronavirus through the #PlayersTogether initiative.
It came about following criticism at the start of the lockdown from Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who told footballers to ‘play their part’ and contribute financially.
Townsend said at the time he believed Hancock was ‘deflecting blame’ on to footballers to distract from the Government’s handling of the crisis.
And he said: ‘It’s not nice, I think it’s an easy deflection to turn it onto the easy targets.
‘There was always going to be a contribution from Premier League players and it was taking the time to figure out what we can do and how we can do it and where is best to put our money forward.
‘We came to a decision to raise a big fund for the NHS and we’re in the process now of trying to donate as much as we can and hopefully we can get a nice pot to help the NHS out.’
Palace sat a respectable 11th in the Premier League table when football was suspended
Manager Hodgson extended his Palace contract until the end of next season back in March
The 28-year-old has been following the tailored fitness programmes sent out by Palace during the lockdown and his two young kids are keeping him occupied.
Townsend has also been putting his FIFA skills to the test in the STAY INtertoto Cup against 63 other professional players, helping to raise funds for the NHS.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson signed a contract extension until the end of next season prior to the lockdown and Townsend is delighted with the news.
‘I’ve made no secret of my admiration for Roy Hodgson and what he’s done for my career,’ he said.
‘He’s been incredible for Crystal Palace. He’s given us stability that we needed and he’s given us that safety, we know he’s not going to get us relegated.
‘He’s been in the game long enough to know what it takes to not get relegated and hopefully when the season resumes we can kick on and have a really successful season.’
Professional footballers in the STAY INtertoto Cup are raising funds for the NHS. Get involved on Swipe, the app where fans can turn predictions into cash prizes, test their trivia and donate to the NHS.
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