The manager of Burnley Sean Dyche has suggested that footballers in the Premier League should be given coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible and channel the budget for weekly testing for the virus to the operations of NHS.
The United Kingdom has commenced vaccination against the deadly virus but Premier League players are not expected to be among the first set of people that will be vaccinated. It is reported that the early stage of the vaccination will target majorly the vulnerable in society.
Sean Dyche argued that the Premier League has been spending a lot of funds on testing players and staff weekly but if the players and staff are given the coronavirus vaccine, the money budgeted for testing will be reinvested to producing more vaccines and other health needs.
He also stressed that the coronavirus might affect the competitiveness of football because clubs are sometimes left helpless when they have to play without some of their stars that contracted the virus.
Dyche, however, noted that footballers are not the most important people in society or that need the coronavirus vaccine the most but it is financially wise for Premier League footballers to be considered for the vaccination as soon as possible.
Sean Dyche said: “It’s my view, I think vaccination is the way forward throughout football,” Dyche said.
“The amount of money being spent on testing in the Premier League, if that was channeled back into the NHS and into the vaccination system, surely that’s a better place to be than continually testing footballers.
“I appreciate some people will be surprised by that comment and people will say: ‘Why should footballers get vaccinations?’ But, if the testing diminishes, that money could be used for a much better cause.
“Football then also remains a competitive industry rather than what might end up as a skewed industry because of players missing from games. It’s a common-sense view.
“Let me make it clear, there are people way in front of footballers [as a priority to be vaccinated]. I’m not remotely suggesting that should be put in front of the welfare of very vulnerable people.
“What I’m saying is: Is there a timeline where they can fast-track to that period? Logically, it would be better to put the funding that is put into testing into the system to encourage more vaccinations.
“That money could be used more wisely, I would suggest, to get it out there quickly to the vulnerable and beyond.”
Just like other aspects of society, the game of football has been battling so hard with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Since the commencement of the 2020-2021 season, some matches had to be postponed because of the virus.
More so, footballers across major leagues in the world have to undergo the rigor of being tested for the virus every week. Some even go as far as conducting the test twice a week to ensure that the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t force the game to a halt again like how it happened between mid-March and June.
Even though the regular testing of footballers and clubs’ staff is capital intensive, the possible outcome of not carrying out the test outweigh the money being spent on it. However, Sean Dyche’s opinion on prioritizing the vaccination of players would go a long way to cut costs and save the players the rigor of undergoing the test for Covid-19 every week.