Premier League doctors concerned over season restart plans, new survey reveals

Nearly half of those surveyed by the Football Medicine and Performance Association don’t believe they have been adequately consulted during the discussion process

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Monday 18 May 2020 17:37 BST
Coronavirus: How has sport been affected?

Nearly half of Premier League medical practitioners, and almost 70% of those in the EFL, do not feel they have been sufficiently consulted by the football authorities regarding the return of competitions amid the Covid-19 crisis – according to a survey conducted by the Football Medicine and Performance Association [FMPA].

The body have been in regular consultation with their members – who include all medical practitioners in football from doctors to physios to sports scientists – and had noted a series of concerns that had been put them throughout the dialogue over the return of competition.

It was from that they conducted a survey of their members that was sent out on Saturday evening, asking whether they felt they had been sufficiently consulted, and whether they fully understand their role, responsibilities and potential liability in relation to a return to training.

The results indicated a significant number do not feel they have been fully and effectively consulted around medical issues relating to a return to training. Almost 50% of respondents within the PL and 68% in the EFL meanwhile reported that they do not fully understand their role, responsibilities and potential liability in relation to a return to training.

Primary issues raised revolve around professional indemnity and medical malpractice insurance, poor communication and being placed under pressure to conform, with many questions remaining unanswered.

While Premier League Director of Football Richard Garlick said insurers were “content” with liability issues related to a return, a source said the main concern with FMPA members is whether they are covered with practices that may be outside their remit.

FMPA CEO, Eamonn Salmon, said “It is clear that members do not feel they have been effectively communicated with. It is also unfortunate that the FMPA was not asked to consult its members alongside the League Managers Association and Professional Footballers Association throughout this process.

“I believe this sent the wrong message to our members and implied, unwittingly or not, that their views were not required. As frontline staff who are implementing these strategies, their collective views should have been heard. I should also add that, as yet, FMPA has not received a copy of the medical protocol from the PL or the EFL”.

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