The Premier League and EFL are currently suspended indefinitely in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, but discussions about the end of the season are underway, with a number of plans in the works that would see the campaign resume. in the summer months.
However, Verheijen is concerned that the Premier League may take a chance on players’ health and fitness in order to save billions of dollars in lost TV revenue – and he urged the biggest names in the game to take a stand. .
Liverpool currently have a 25-point lead at the top of the overhead suspension table.
Verheijen previously criticized Jurgen Klopp’s training methods, taking several free kicks on Twitter.
Talking about the current suspension of football, he told the Mirror, “The season must be canceled to protect the players. I spoke to players about the coronavirus situation and they fear that they will be told to play before the crisis ends.
“They are afraid of being infected by a teammate or an opponent. So this is the first thing the football authorities have to address. And the second problem that needs to be raised is the possibility that players may suffer career-threatening injuries.
“Everyone understands that there is enormous financial pressure on the game and we all want to see football resume as soon as possible – but only when the crisis is over and the reality is that it will not be possible to finish the current season late summer.
“Most players don’t have the influence of saying,” I don’t play until I’m sure. ” Only the players’ unions and the best footballers in the world have this kind of power.
“It would be a powerful message if the stars of the Premier League joined big names like Messi and Ronaldo to say, ‘None of us will play until the match is secure'”.
The Dutchman, who has spent time working in Manchester City as a coach, fears that any other scenario will play Russian roulette with the future of the players, adding: “It is important to have a frame of reference reliable to understand the situation of the players. to be in it.
“The coronavirus crisis may be unique, but in many ways the postponement of matches can be compared to what happens at the end of each season.
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“First, there is a off-season when players are on vacation for three or four weeks and receive individual training programs to maintain a certain level of fitness.
“Let’s say that, if their fitness level is 10 when they stop playing football, then during this period of relative inactivity, that fitness may drop to a level of five.
“When they start a five or six week pre-season to prepare to start playing again, it usually takes about a month to get back into shape.
“When football resumes after this crisis, players will need the equivalent of a preseason. The players have been in relative inactivity for three weeks now.
“If this period spans six or eight weeks – or more – then it makes sense that they will need more time to regain their physical condition. This is not my opinion – it is a fact based on science. ”