Image:-Gary Neville praised Crystal Palace’s chairman
Former Manchester United and England defenders accused them of being "feared to death" and publicly backed plans to restart the season for fear of being held liable should something go wrong.
Premier League clubs met on Friday to reaffirm their commitment to resuming the campaign and it is understood that 8 June was the best-case scenario for a return following the suspension of the coronavirus. But Neville feels that there has been too much anonymous briefing and not enough public statements.
Neville wrote on Twitter, "The PL is having a CV nightmare. They keep on dancing health first, but then they keep on briefing 'We've got to re-start.' I'd respect them more if they said, 'We accept the increase in health risk, but it's one we're willing to take.' They're not going to be scared to death! ”
When Neville was asked by a Twitter user what would happen if someone died as a result of the restart, he said, "That's why we haven't heard a single prominent CEO / Chairman / Owner or Executive open his mouth to back up the re-start!" Brief / Short / Short! He was scared to death of responsibility and blame.
The PL are having a CV nightmare . They keep spouting Health First but then brief constantly “We have to Re-Start”— Gary Neville (@GNev2) May 3, 2020
I’d respect them more if they said “We accept the increase in Health Risk but it’s one we are willing to take” . They won’t as they are frightened to death!
Before making an exception to Brighton as the "only club willing to take a stand," Neville added, "It would be good for them to speak at least once. Any one of them! Clubs are included. This virus is being bottled on comms. Very happy to tell us when they're delivering food parcels though.
On Friday, the Premier League announced that the clubs had again confirmed their commitment to finish the season. A statement said: "The League and the clubs are considering the first attempt to move forward and will only return to training and play with government guidance, with expert medical advice and after consultation with players and managers."
During the shutdown, Brighton held virtual press conferences and their chief executive, Paul Barber, expressed his opposition to the idea of finishing the season at neutral venues on his club's website on Saturday.
Karren Brady, vice-president of West Ham, unveiled more details about the plans in the newspaper column on Saturday, and Steve Parish, chairman of the Crystal Palace, made a case for his return to action in the Sunday Times column.
Parish claimed that the return of football would, if deemed appropriate, boost the taxpayer, lift the nation's mental health, and help provide a blueprint for other industries to define a "new normal" in the midst of the pandemic.
Neville later praised Parish for speaking out after being alerted to the article by the President of the Palace, but reiterated his general point. The TV pundit wrote, "Steve, I want football to come back. I understand the complexities, too. But it's depressing that the PL and the clubs seem to be in hiding, scared to the death of communicating. No one wants to be responsible for that! Just in case something unthinkable happens.