Charlton boss Bowyer: ‘We can’t afford to test players twice a week’

Charlton have warned the football authorities they cannot afford to test players every two days for coronavirus.

Manager Lee Bowyer has revealed the Addicks do not have the cash flow to meet some of the conditions the Premier League is currently discussing as part of Project Restart.

Players are being prepared to return to isolated training around May 16 – but Bowyer is very wary.

More staff at The Valley have been furloughed this month and players were paid last month – but there is anxiety about the next wage bill.

Bowyer said: “If we are expected to buy kits for each player to be tested twice a week, we cannot afford it – not every two days.

“Those tests are not going to be an option, unless the EFL pays for them. But would they do that for every club? “We are trying to save as much money as we can because it has become a difficult situation.

“We are going hand-to-month. Last month we got paid. If we aren’t this month, it becomes a worry. That will show we are in big trouble.

“These things are out of our hands.

“Owner Tahnoon Nimer has said he will stand by us. Directors Marian Mihail and Claudiu Florica are in contact with him – I have not spoken to Tahnoon in a while – and they say he is standing by the club.

“All we can do is hope he steps up. “Whatever the Prime Minister says on Sunday about the return to work will have a big impact on when we go back.

“But I don’t think it will be May 16. I will be amazed if it is.

“It is too early to be going back when thousands still have it.

“Training in a group will be a risk. Three players in one German club had it when they went back. It is inevitable that lives will be put at risk.”

Under Premier League plans discussed on May 1, players would be tested for coronavirus twice a week and would be screened for symptoms every day. All tests would be carried out by health professionals at a drive-through NHS testing facility that each club would have access to.

Another plan being discussed in the longer term is a wage cap for the Championship to stop clubs busting the bank to achieve promotion and the lottery win of reaching the Premier League.

“We would not reach the cap but at least it would bring other clubs closer to us,” said Bowyer. “There were a few occasions where we have been up against a player paid double the whole of our starting 11. It is ridiculous and unfair – bit it has been like this for years. A cap would even things out.”

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