Saints CEO Comments On Premier League Resumption.
Sunday, 22nd Mar 2020 20:48
Many Saints fans would have been unaware of the name Martin Semmens as he has been a lot more in the background than some of his predecessors, but he has now broken cover to take about the Premier League suspension.
Martin Semmens has spoken to the media to give his opinion that the Premier League could resume before the out break of the Coronavirus is completely contained
He suggests that the resumption would be "a sign that the country is coming back to normal" but it should not happen before it is safe.:
Speaking to Radio Solent he said
"We have to do what is right and safe for the general public,"
"When everybody is safe and we're not using up NHS and police resources, the government would like us to get back to playing because we are entertainment and a sign that the country is coming back to normal.
"If people are home for another month and Premier League football is on the TV every day that can only be a good thing. Not because we are more essential than the NHS but because we can give people entertainment and show that we're fighting back."
Semmens indicated that teams are hopeful of completing the league by the end of June but did not yet know when play would resume.
Some players will be out of contract on 30 June, but Semmens believes players could be convinced to stay for longer should play continue beyond that point.
"We hope to get the league done by the end of June," Semmens added. "As soon as you go past that date, there are legal challenges.
"If we ended up playing until 15 July and you had to extend a player's contract by two weeks, convincing a player to play two more weeks of football and get paid nicely to do it - I don't believe that will be a substantial challenge.
"The challenge is making sure we don't have a knock-on effect to other seasons and make football compromised for years to come."
Semmens is only repeating what was discussed at last weeks meeting of Premier League clubs, but in truth all of it is mere speculation as at this moment it appears that no one has any idea how long and how bad the escalation of the virus will be, so he is only speculating about what might happen.
He is though revealing that plans seem to be in place to play games behind closed doors, but his account doesn't mention that if that is the case then it is far from certain the games will be on TV given that at an early stage of recovery the Government might not want to encourage large gatherings in pubs to watch the game, so it is likely to be streamed on clubs websites rather than on Sky or BT.
Semmens is also playing down the issue of players contracts should as is likely the season might extend past July 1st.
Whilst players might be prepared to play, it is not quite as simple as extending contracts for two weeks, the real question is whether those players would be prepared to risk serious injury for another two weeks pay and for that I can't blame them.
Many of those out of contract would be looking to sign up with another club as soon as July 1st passed, so would they gamble a secure contact over a number of years for a two week extension at a club that doesn't want them..
I would suggest not.
From a Saints perspective two of our players out of contract are already out on loan so not part of our squad, only Shane Long would likely have to make a decision.
From another angle, we would actually have a number of players out on loan returning to us at the end of May so potentially would have them available, whilst several probably would not be wanted back . you also have to say that one or two might offer us something we have lacked.
So in many respect Martin Semmens told us little we didn't already know, but it was good to hear from him, over the past year we have heard little from those running the club, so hopefully this heralds a new age of communication.
Photo: Action Images
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