Portsmouth chief Mark Catlin on footballers' roles in pursuit of 'normality'

Mark Catlin believes football must be prepared to join society’s return to ‘normality’.

Friday, 10th April 2020, 5:30 am
Mark Catlin believes footballers coming into contact with others cannot be avoided in pursuit of 'normality'. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Premier League and Football League are manoeuvring to complete their respective seasons behind closed doors when given permission.

That will comply with the ban on mass gatherings, thereby helping protect those players, officials and staff involved in fixtures.

However, the players themselves will be exposed to each other through the nature of their work.

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But Pompey’s chief executive feels that is an inevitable situation in pursuit of ‘normality’.

Catlin said: ‘To get back to any level of normality, you have to accept at some point you are going to come into contact with people, whether that’s via travelling or going about your normal daily business.

‘Otherwise how long does this go on for? I don’t know.

‘I am assuming that, before mass gatherings are allowed, one of the first steps would be to allow people to go back to work, of which football is work.

‘Whether you are playing football or sat beside someone on a desk in London, there is going to have to be contact at some point if we are ever going to return to normality.

‘That’s a world of difference from 60,000 people together, which greatly increases the potential spread of the virus.

‘This has always been about trying to limit the amount of people you come into contact with on any given day. If you would normally come into contact with 100, it is trying to limit that down to 10.

‘However, we can talk about the North Stand, talk about developments, talk about letting fans in, but people are dying and that, above all else, has to be the priority to address.’