People’s health is more important than finishing Premier League season, says Man City star Walker

The England international hopes the English top-flight season gets back underway but insists the well-being of others is more important

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker hopes the Premier League season can resume, but said “football has to take a back step for now”.

The campaign has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought sport to a standstill around the world.

It remains unclear when, and if, the Premier League campaign will resume, but Walker is hoping the season can get back underway.

“Football has to take a back step for now because that is the least important thing on everyone’s mind in the football world,” the right-back said.

“The health of family members and other people’s family members is the most important.

“But, I hope, and I am sure everybody else hopes, that football will come back and we will be able to finish off the season, but if it is not a possibility, then everyone does understand that people’s health is more important than a game of sport.”

Walker discussed how City – who were second to Liverpool in the Premier League when the season was stopped – were keeping up team spirit using group chats.

But the 29-year-old revealed manager Pep Guardiola, who donated €1 million to the coronavirus fight in Spain, was not in the players’ chat.

“Obviously Pep is not in the group chat! I dropped him a text message last night saying hope you are ok, and I hope the family is well and fair play for donating the amount of money that you have donated,” Walker said.

“That says a lot about him as a person. Put football aside, that has come from his heart and it is something that should definitely be recognised.”

The PFA and the Premier League are currently in discussions about player wages as part of talks over how football in England should respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement issued by the PFA read: “Senior representatives from the PFA, Premier League, EFL and LMA met today and shared a constructive meeting regarding the challenges facing the game as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The meeting reiterated that the overriding priority is the health and well-being of the nation – including that of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters – and everyone agreed football must only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

“No decisions were taken today with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019-20 season.”