‘A ban is the only way to make Premier League ‘Covidiots’ see sense’

The trouble is there’s no deterrent.

Most highly-paid football players would take a one or two-week fine in exchange for breaking coronavirus restrictions for sex or socialising.

The long list of stars in the dock, stretching back to the first lockdown, is evidence of this. Many implicate themselves, brazenly posting incriminating snaps on Instagram, effectively sticking two fingers up to the rest of us who are making sacrifices.

Ban them from playing for three or four games – minimum – and you really would be hitting them where it hurts. Until then, it will continue.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy, caught at a do on New Year’s Eve, was among Premier League stars from a clutch of clubs – including West Ham, Crystal Palace and Spurs – found to have infringed guidelines in place to keep themselves and others safe.

Benjamin Mendy flouted Covid measures

Clubs say they have “reminded players of their responsibilities” but they’ve been doing that ever since the first lockdown.

Football will get into a strop over being called out but the truth is, it is trashing its own reputation. After doing so well to lift a nation staying at home to protect their safety last season, the sport is in danger of eating itself.

Even more remarkable has been the defence of said players by top managers including City’s Pep Guardiola and Crystal Palace boss
Roy Hodgson.

Let’s not kid ourselves. We all know someone bending the rules, or perhaps have even done so ourselves.

But the actions of the few have put the many within English football at risk.

The Premier League are bending over backwards to resist having to suspend the season amid a rise in infections – but their efforts are being undermined by selfish stars and their egos.

If stricken clubs can’t muster enough players to fulfil fixtures – with fans already banned from grounds – where does the TV money then come from? Football would face ruin.

Jobs will be lost. Livelihoods will be put at risk and the cash flow that so many take for granted could be halted.

Players need a reminder that their actions have consequences. Ban them and they will soon wake up to that fact.

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