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'This is not a players' strike' - Frank Lampard says footballer's voices need to be heard ahead of any return


Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. Photo: Adrian Dennis

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. Photo: Adrian Dennis

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. Photo: Adrian Dennis

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has urged football authorities to be open channels of communications with players, as he suggested they need to more involved in the talks to get Premier League football back next month.

Owners and decisions makers of the 20 top-flight clubs in England will stage their latest conference call meeting on Monday, where is a vote could take place on a return to training next week ahead of a possible resumption of the season next month.

Yet Lampard has told Sky Sports that players feel they have not had enough input into the discussions, with Watford captain Troy Deeney believed to have spoken passionately about his reservations at last Wednesday's conference call featuring players and representatives from the Professional Footballers' Association and the League Managers Association.

"I think the important part of my job at the moment is a lot of empathy with the players," stated Lampard. "This is not a players' strike, it's not a player not wanting to train, or a player having an argument with another player, this is something that has affected everyone and their families.

"My lads, I know - and I'm sure all managers will speak in the same way - they're good lads. Their intentions and their feelings for their families are good. They want to get here and work. They can't wait to get back and play football.

"People like Troy Deeney, you have to give the freedom to speak out, because people will be speaking from the heart.

"I think we have to upgrade that communication so players know what they're going through, and then they can make those decisions."

Lampard also suggested he has concerns over the futures of players who contracts will expire at the end of June, with Willian and Oliver Giroud among those who could be asked to sign short-term deals to stay at Chelsea if the season runs into July or August.

"It is still uncertain if and when play will get underway," he added. "We have big players (out of contract in June) so that's something I'm obviously looking at very carefully.

"So it's going to have to be something we have to look at. Hopefully, we can make that arrangement so they can stay with us. I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we'll have to see how that works.

"The ones who are out of contract here have been great servants for the club, and actually have a lot of feeling for the club."

Online Editors