SEAN DYCHE says footballers should be fast-tracked for coronavirus vaccination, to prevent the game being forced into another shutdown.
And Fulham's Kevin McDonald branded the decision to keep playing during lockdown 'shambolic' and said players are being 'treated like guinea pigs'.
The Burnley manager stressed he was not suggesting players should take priority over the vulnerable and NHS staff.
But he said moving footballers nearer the front of the queue would allow the vast sums of money being spent on testing to be re-directed, helping to speed up the vaccination process elsewhere.
And he believes keeping the game on TV screens is essential to the well-being of the country, as millions of fans feel live matches are a much-needed distraction from the Covid 19 restrictions.
Dyche explained: “I think vaccination throughout the game is the way forward for football.
“I appreciate some people will be surprised by that comment, but if you think about it, we’re all going to get vaccinated.
"And we all wanted football back, for the cash it generates through tax, and the well-being it generates has been seen.
“The obvious most high-profile example is Marcus Rashford and what he achieved. There’s a lot of good come through football,
“I am not trying to step in front of key workers, the vulnerable or anyone who needs it. But if there is a window to fast track football, then you would keep it on the TV in a really tough period.
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“We are going into a dangerous moment of how many games need to be called off. If it continues it may not be long before we are locked down again, and it is no-one's fault.
“But 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 a load of footballers two or three times a week.
“I appreciate some people will say why should footballers get vaccinated early etc, But say 20 Premier League clubs with 100 people get vaccinated, the payback to the NHS and the vaccination system would be considerable.
“The money currently spent on testing could be used for a much-better cause., to help the whole country get better, quicker.
“And football would stay a competitive industry rather than one that might end up a skewed industry because of players missing games. I just think it’s a common sense view.
“I appreciate there will be people who disagree with me wholeheartedly. But I just feel the balance between getting vaccinations to footballers quicker, the payback would be enormous by comparison.”
Elsewhere, Fulham's McDonald ranted on his Instagram stories following the shutdown of Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground after a Coronavirus outbreak.
The Scot, 32, posted a message on top of a news story about Villa’s complex closure that read: “How many more outbreaks and training ground closures until football needs to stop!!!!
"Shambolic!! Literally treated like guinea pigs!!!”
Fulham had their own Covid outbreak to deal with at the end of last month which saw their Motspur Park training ground deep cleaned and saw games against Tottenham and Burnley postponed.
Long-serving midfielder McDonald has played 128 times for Fulham but was not included in their 25-man Premier League squad earlier this season.
He could feature in Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at QPR.
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