Premier League: Watford's Troy Deeney says his family suffered abuse after he declined to return to training
Watford striker Troy Deeney says his family has suffered personal and online abuse after his decision of not returning to training last week.
Manchester: Watford striker Troy Deeney says his family has suffered personal and online abuse after his decision of not returning to training last week.
Deeney has declined to take part in the resumption of training, after the stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic, citing his son’s breathing difficulties.
The 31-year-old striker, whose club Watford are in 17th place and face a battle against relegation when the Premier League resumes, had also raised questions about Project Restart and safety for players, as did Newcastle United’s Danny Rose who said players were being treated like “lab rats”.
“In a time where it’s all about mental health and everyone says: ‘Speak up, speak out, please speak,’… For example, Danny Rose spoke out, and I spoke out and we just get absolutely hammered and battered for it,” Deeney said in an interview with CNN Sport.
“It’s not just us that gets it. My missus gets direct messages and you’ll be walking down the street and people will be like: ‘Oh, I’m at work, you go back to work’,” he added.
“My concerns were purely for family reasons. I have a five-month-old son who’s got breathing difficulties. So, for me, I needed more questions answered, with a bit more authority and at the start, they couldn’t really do that,” Deeney said.
Deeney has now got access to more information.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to speak to Professor Jonathan van Tam, who works with the government,” he said.
“He’s been doing very, very good research and a lot of goodwill on his part to tell me, ultimately, that I’m going to be looked after, as best as they can.
“And ultimately there is going to be some form of risk for all of us going back to work,” Deeney added.
Despite the absence of their main forwards, Chelsea tore apart bottom of the table Norwich at Stamford Bridge to move two points clear at the top.
The Guardian newspaper reported 18 clubs voted in favour of the ban at an emergency meeting on Monday, with Newcastle voting against and Manchester City abstaining. It is understood that both questioned the legality of the move.
"The Premier League can confirm today that 81 percent of players have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose, with 68 percent now fully vaccinated," the league said in a statement.