Footballers and Covid-19

Posted on January 6, 2021

If the ageing process, Brexit and Covid have taught me one thing, it’s that making impulsive assumptions can result in public shaming and not learning about the devil in the detail. It also allows people like Toby Young, Julia Hartley Brewer and Laurence Fox to make money for being the voices of lunatic reason.

So, with that in mind, I decided to not pay much attention to the outrage directed at footballers who had broken Covid-19 restrictions. This is because footballers, due to their enormous wages, are often the victims of distraction tactics. We saw that last year when Mat Hancock tried to out them for not financially supporting the pandemic.

It was okay for him to financially support PPE and Test & Trace companies run by his family and friends, but not okay for footballers to earn vast amounts of money. Personally, I find it quite amusing that football players earn so much. It really annoys those who are privileged by excessive hereditary wealth and I like that.

To become one of those highly paid footballers takes an incredible amount of dedication to emerge from tens of thousands of other kids wanting to be the same thing. They are owned and fed like pedigree cattle and must hope that along the way, they don’t get an injury that ends all their hopes and dreams.

Getting to the Top

I know a chap who, about 15 years ago, had made it through all the battles and trials to get to Aston Villa. In the last stages of becoming a professional, he was diagnosed with diabetes and then suffered an acute thigh injury that took 18 months of ongoing rehab to get him back playing. It was too late.

After being widely tipped to be a Premier League player with a host of interested clubs, the highest level he got to be was The Conference League, earning around £500.00 a week. Not bad for doing something you love but not life defining either. He is one of thousands who nearly make it. You must be consistently excellent to get to the top in football, not average.

Once at that level, footballers are owned by the club they are paid by. They are on time curfews, rigid training programmes and strict diets set out by medical teams. They barely need to think for themselves, with the club’s central concern being the ability to perform at the optimum level. It comes down to the club they play for, to advise their footballers of Covid-19 and their off-field responsibilities, and to ensure they do not become a distraction.

Well Informed Players

The thing is, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club did just that. I saw it with my own eyes on the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary that followed the club last season. The players were given a detailed briefing by club doctors on every aspect of the disease and how they should behave accordingly, to protect themselves and others.

Unless they are thick (quite possible) the players who flouted the regulations did not make an error, they took a gamble, hoping they would get away with it. In turn, they damaged the reputation of a sport that is constantly under attack from politicians and the British Society of Middle Aged Ranters.

If I were a fellow player, I would be incandescent. Flouting of regulations by individuals means that all topflight footballers get covered in tar and feathers, when most of them are just keeping their heads down, grateful of the privileges football has given them. It must also cause unhealthy division within clubs; how couldn’t it?

So, with several days to digest the actions of these players, I can only assume they are selfish idiots and should be punished as such.

1 Reply to "Footballers and Covid-19"

  • Norman House
    January 6, 2021 (3:13 pm)

    Whilst there is some outrage (on Twitter and some of the national newspapers) about the Government handing out contracts to friends of their party or to boost their own business interests, there has been little or no real action. Not sure what happened to ethics or Ethics committees!?

    Some footballers can be stupid, but so can lots of other people of the same age or older. The difference is because they are high profile, they can be hung out to dry for ridicule. I suspect partly that they can take the risk because there is no real penalty for being found out. If they get fined by the government or by their clubs, it is often a drop in the ocean for them. The clubs won’t suspend them (for long) as they are their assets. The only real action would be for the League or FA to take action, that would particularly hit the clubs in question and the players to a lesser extent (loss of appearance money).

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