Noel Whelan has blasted Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow for his “shallow” comments opposing the use of neutral venues amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists that using a select number of grounds to finish the season would offer no advantage to any of the Premier League sides.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Purslow revealed he was against the use of neutral venues to complete the top-flight season, insisting Villa would be relinquishing a significant “advantage” by not playing games at home.
Whelan has torn into the Villa chief’s claims, insisting that players are in a “massively privileged” position regardless of where the games are held.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I think the majority of players want to get back playing football – it doesn’t matter if it’s a park or St George’s Park, it doesn’t matter. It’s been this long that they should be wanting to get a ball at their feet and play competitive matches.
“That doesn’t matter where it is, either way you’re going to be privileged because you’re playing for importance, you’re playing for points. Why does it matter where you play football? When you look at what’s going on around the world, it’s just about getting out there with your strip on, playing competitive football.
“I’d be chomping at the bit, I’d play anywhere. I really would, if I was in their shoes right now I’d just want to get a ball out, play with my teammates, get out there playing competitive football. It doesn’t matter where it is, it’ll make no difference – there’s going to be no fans there, no kind of advantage for either side.
“I find it bemusing that people get paid this amount of money in this day and age, knowing what’s going on around them, people passing away left, right and centre, people struggling with their own jobs, to struggle to pay the mortgage, that someone would come out and say something as shallow as that when they’re in such a massively privileged position.
“They’re getting paid to go out there and play some football. I mean come on, get some perspective.”
In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has been blown away as the club agree a new striker deal.