Newcastle's Rose slams Premier League, UK government for restart plans

Newcastle United defender Danny Rose has hit out at plans to restart the Premier League season amid the coronavirus crisis and said it should not return with lives at risk.

Clubs have been in discussions to finish the campaign, which has nine matchdays remaining for the majority of sides, while four have played a game fewer. The possibility of a restart next month was given a boost when the UK government said elite sport could return after June 1.

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During an Instagram Live chat with British singer-songwriter Don-E on Monday, Rose said: "The government is saying we are bringing football back because it is going to boost the nation's morale.

"I don't give a f--- about the nation's morale, people's lives are at risk. Football shouldn't even be spoke about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively.

"It's b-------. I listened to the announcement yesterday, no football until June 1 or something, I don't even pay attention to any of that."

The UK has recorded more than 223,000 cases and over 32,000 deaths from the coronavirus -- the highest number in Europe.

The Professional Footballers Association's deputy chief Bobby Barnes said black players were concerned about the restart after a government study said black people are nearly twice as likely to die from the coronavirus than whites.

"I think I'm getting tested on Friday, so we'll just have to wait and see," Rose added.

"I'm sad that people are getting sick and being affected. Football should be the last of things that need to be sorted."

Discussions continue between the league and the government about the details of how a resumed season would be carried out, with clubs hoping they can avoid playing at neutral venues.

Last week, clubs were told any return to complete the season would have to be with games played behind closed doors and at neutral venues -- to limit the risk of supporters turning up outside grounds.

But that idea had been rejected by some of the clubs facing the threat of relegation, such as Watford and Brighton, who expressed concern about the fairness of playing games at neutral venues.

The league has to give European football's governing body UEFA details of their plans by May 25.