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Premier League medical staff unhappy with briefings about return

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

08:06 18 May 2020


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Almost half of medical professionals working in the Premier League don’t feel they’ve been adequately consulted about a return to play. 

In the EFL that number is 68 per cent. 

The Football Medicine and Performance Association (FMPA) includes club doctors, physios and sports scientists. 

They say many questions remain to be answered.

Premier League players are set to resume training in small groups from Tuesday, albeit with no contact and strict medical protocols in place.

Clubs voted unanimously on Monday to implement 'Phase 1' of their Project Restart document.

However, club medical practitioners have revealed they feel "under pressure to conform".

In a statement, the FMPA said a survey of their members, "revealed that a significant number of frontline medical practitioners, which included doctors, physiotherapists and sports therapists working across the Premier League and the English Football League, do not feel they have been fully and effectively consulted around medical issues relating to a return to training."

Club captains and managers were briefed about a return to play last week in a conference call that included input from the UK's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan van Tam.

However, the FMPA add, "Almost 50% of respondents within the PL and 68% in the EFL also reported that they do not fully understand their role, responsibilities and potential liability in relation to a return to training.

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

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".

The FMPA has endeavoured to communicate with its members throughout this period and will continue to support them as momentum towards return to play gathers pace.


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Coronavirus Covid-19 Premier League Project Restart

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