Aston Villa

Noel Whelan has claimed players should be fined two week’s wages if they refuse to play after Dean Smith revealed two Aston Villa players would be unavailable for selection.

The former Leeds United and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, drew attention to employees going to work in other sectors and insisted football should be “no different”.

Villa manager Dean Smith told Sky Sports at least two of his players would be unavailable for selection if the season was restarted in June, as the Premier League is proposing.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

It was revealed that one of his players is asthmatic whilst another has a vulnerable family member and that the club would not put either player at risk.

When asked by Football Insider if players are within their rights to refuse to play, Whelan said: “Everyone is scared. People going into offices are scared but they still have to go in.

“They are contracted to do their job. Football is no different. If they do not play then they are breaching their contract, it is as simple as that.

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“The clubs will tell the players if the regulation of testing is done properly, it is a safe environment.

“These players are contracted. If they did not get paid by the club they would kick up a fuss. Why should a club not kick up a fuss if a player does not want to play?

“You would get fined at any other time of the season if you refused to play a game, that is two week’s wages. If they are prepared to do that, then fine.”

According to BBC Sport, Premier League club doctors have also raised concerns over the plans to restart the season as soon as 8 June.

Villa are currently in the bottom three but do have a game in hand over their relegation rivals.

In other Aston Villa news, Kevin Phillips tips Wolves ace to sign this summer.