Kevin Phillips insisted Aston Villa will not be the only club with players unavailable if the season was to restart in June, as the Premier League hopes.
The former Sunderland and Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, urged the Premier League not to see the unavailability of players on health grounds as a reason to prevent the completion of fixtures.
Football Insider understands the Premier League is proposing a return to action as early as June 12.
Villa manager Dean Smith revealed to Sky Sports that two of his players would be unavailable for selection if the season was restarted in June.
One Villa player 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 the Villa manager’s revelation brings into question the integrity of a restart in June, Phillips said: “It is just one of those things.
“If two players cannot come back then that is how it is going to have to be.
“You cannot tell me that out of all of the players that are in football that there is not going to be one or two that have got symptoms. Once they get tested there could be one or two other clubs without players.
“The season needs to be finished and if that means two or three of your best players are unavailable, that is just what we will have to do until we get a vaccine for it.”
Also hinting that he wouldn't like to see relegation this season:
“The risk of relegation is a £200m catastrophe for any club. Every club has to protect its own financial position.”
— Jason Bourne 🗣🎙📻 (@JasonBourne1986) May 6, 2020
Premier League club doctors have also raised concerns over ‘Project Restart’ suggesting player safety is not guaranteed as of yet.
Villa chief Christian Purslow claimed on talkSPORT today the 19th placed side would stand to lose £200million if relegated this season.
In other Aston Villa news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider players should be fined two weeks wages if they refuse to play.