Sheffield United's George Baldock makes emotional plea to the Premier League as other competitions fall by the wayside
George Baldock has urged the Premier League to make good on its commitment to complete the fixture schedule, insisting it would “make no sense” to declare the season null and void.
Speaking as English football takes tentative steps towards a return to action following nearly two months in lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Sheffield United defender warned the integrity of the competition could be damaged if the remaining matches are not played.
Baldock’s comments, which echo those of his manager Chris Wilder, came after sporting chiefs in France were ordered to draw a line under the 2019/20 season while campaigns in Holland and Belgium have already been annulled.
“I can’t see the logic of starting something without finishing it,” Baldock replied when asked if he feared this country would eventually be forced to take similar steps. “No matter how long it takes, the integrity of the whole thing is important.
“It’s not like we’ve only just begun (the season). We’ve got 10 left to play, most clubs have nine.
“We’ve got to finish this one before we can start a new one.”
United were seventh in the table when social distancing measures introduced to curb the spread of the disease forced games to be put on hold, and preparing for an FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal.
Wilder’s squad, who were only promoted from the Championship last term, partially reopened their training complex earlier this week after it emerged the PL hopes to begin staging matches again in June.
Conceding those will take place behind closed doors if government health advisors agree, Baldock said: “I’m up for any proposal that helps us to get it done. I’ve heard it mentioned that players might go into hotels and if that’s the case, so be it.
“Whatever sacrifices we make, they will be nothing compared to what others on the frontline and helping to keep the country going have done.
“I see the bigger picture. I know people have lost loved ones and that people on the frontline have been dying.
“Hopefully if we can get football back, though, it will give society something to feel positive about.”