Premier League could be cancelled if we’re not prepared, says West Ham vice-chairman Brady

The warning comes after the decision of leagues in Belgium, the Netherlands and France to call time on the 2019-20 season prematurely

West Ham vice-president Karren Brady has warned that there is the prospect of the Premier League season not resuming beyond its current position.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 177,000 people in Britain, killing more than 27,000 – the third highest death toll in the world – has meant that play in the league has been frozen since March.

While there remains optimism that a solution will be found that will allow the league to reach a conclusion, Brady, who controversially suggested previously that the entire season should be written off, has counselled that this is not guaranteed and that strict protocols will have to be followed.

“The key here is to make the environment as safe as it can possibly be because we want to be able to restart the games and finish our season,” she said, writing for The Sun.

“And to do that we have to be ready — otherwise we’ll end up like France, Belgium and Holland, who have all had their season curtailed.

“So clubs are all now producing their own Covid-19 Operational Policy, which will include testing players, staff, broadcasters and operational staff twice a week.

“Again, testing will be approved by the Government, done independently and centrally administered at various testing stations, with the results delivered within 24 hours.

“The most important aspect of all this is not what we, as chairmen and CEOs of clubs want the protocols to be, but that the players and managers agree and are comfortable with them and that they believe it is safe to commence contact training and play games.

“Without their approval this is going nowhere, so it’s my intention to take my players through this in detail. We have to ensure that training is as safe as it can be — and they have to agree.”

Sergio Aguero spoke out on Friday to suggest that players are anxious over the prospect of returning to action too early.

“I’m scared, but I’m with my girlfriend here and I’m not going to be in contact with other people. I’m locked in my house and the only person I could infect is my girlfriend,” he told El Chiringuito.

“They’re saying that there are people that have it and don’t have any symptoms but still infect you. That’s why I am here at home. Maybe I have the illness and I don’t even know.”

Currently, clubs have players training individually at their facilities, with a set of restrictions in place to ensure that they do not come into close contact with anyone else.