Gary Neville says football should not return for three to four months

Gary Neville says it is ‘inconceivable’ for football to return within ‘three or four months’ as former Manchester United and England defender reacts to latest UK coronavirus measures

  • Gary Neville thinks football should not return for three to four months
  • The Premier League has suspended all matches until April 30 at the earliest
  • Neville allowed NHS staff helping in hospitals to use his hotel for free
  • He also raised the point of lower league clubs needing help during the crisis
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Gary Neville believes football should not return for three or four months as the world continues its fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

The spread of the deadly virus has led to the suspension of all major football tournaments for the foreseeable future, with the Premier League chalking off all matches until April 30 at the earliest. 

But Neville believes the current climate in the UK, including the need for urgent and regular medical services, means that the country should not even be thinking about the return of football. 

Gary Neville thinks football should not return for three to four months because of coronavirus

The former Manchester United and England man told CNN: ‘I think at this moment in time it’s inconceivable that football will return for the next three to four months because of the fact that we’ve just been put essentially on a lockdown.’

‘Football will not return because all the resources that are required to run a football stadium, which requires the police and the ambulance services, will not be available in the next few months.

‘They’ll obviously be in hospitals and in the care homes looking after the sick and people who need it the most.

 ‘Health comes first, of the fans, the players, the staff, the people who enter the stadiums.’

Sky Sports pundit Neville (left) says football matches occupy the time of vital key workers

 ‘The most important thing is that we are about to embark on a huge crisis for our country.’

In an interview with Sportsmail this week, Neville called for the major footballing organisations to come together and help the business of football, particularly regarding the status of lower league clubs. 

Clubs such as National League side Barnet have been forced to make all non-playing members of staff redundant in a bid to stay alive, given that no football is being paid and matchday revenues are not coming in for the foreseeable future. 

Neville (left), who co-owns League Two side Salford City, says lower league clubs need help

Neville, who co-own League Two side Salford City alongisde several Manchester United legends, said: ‘They need to now come up with something that protects the business of football so that the clubs don’t go to the wall and that fans have a club to watch at the end of this.

‘But after that I am hoping football can do something very big from a community basis on a nationwide scale — in terms of how they can contribute in this time.

‘Whether that’s individually as players or staff or clubs, we know there have been some great gestures already. But I do think something else has to come.’

Neville has been behind one of those kind gestures to the public during the coronavirus crisis, by allowing NHS members of staff to have free use of two of his hotels, which are co-owned with former team-mate Ryan Giggs and other members of Manchester United’s class of 92. 

  

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