Premier League teams should be vaccinated against COVID-19 so the money saved from twice-weekly testing can be invested in the country’s National Health Service (NHS) instead, Burnley manager Sean Dyche said on Thursday.
Top-flight clubs’ players and staff are being tested twice a week after a highly infectious variant of the virus led to a surge in infections across the country and forced the government to announce a new national lockdown.
“You look at the amount spent on testing in the Premier League, then that money could be channelled back into the NHS and into the vaccination system, surely that’s a better place to be than just continually testing footballers two-three times a week,” Dyche told reporters.
“Let me make it clear, there are people way in front of footballers [as a priority to be vaccinated]. I’m not remotely suggesting that should be put in front of the welfare of people who are very vulnerable.
“What I’m saying is…it would be better putting the funding that is put into testing into the system to encourage more vaccinations.”
Dyche said Burnley have a couple of cases of the virus along with injuries but they will be able to play Saturday’s FA Cup game against third tier side MK Dons.
“I know the general rule of thumb is getting 14 players out there to be active,” Dyche added. “We would like to fulfil that, and at this stage I think we will be fulfilling that.”