Aston Villa centre-back Tyrone Mings has questioned the motivations behind plans to get the Premier League back underway, claiming top-flight players were the last party to be consulted about the possibility of resuming action.
Premier League football has been on hiatus since 13 March as Britain comes to terms with the impact of the coronavirus, but government approval has now been given for the league to restart on 17 June.
However, a number of concerns were raised as Premier League clubs struggled to reach an agreement on the so-called ‘Project Restart’, with various high-profile players, Mings among them, raising concerns about player safety.
Mings has once more spoken of these same concerns in an interview with the Daily Mail, viewing the decision to restart the league as a reflection of the lack of control that Premier League players have over their destinies.
“The motives are possibly 100% financially driven rather than integrity driven,” said Mings.
“As players, we were the last people to be consulted about Project Restart and that is because of where we fall in football’s order of priority. That isn’t a problem. We are commodities in the game and we accept that.”
Mings acknowledged the attempts of footballing authorities to give players a say in the return to training and eventual competitive football, but believes that most players’ hands were already tied.
“We got the option to come back to training and that’s fine because we didn’t have to,” said Mings.
“But if the FA and the EFL and the Government and UEFA and the Premier League all say you are going back to play, it really doesn’t make any difference what the players think because you are going back to play.”
The league is set to restart on 17 June – a Wednesday – with Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City. The fixture was one of those postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak in March.