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Coronavirus: Most Premier League players against behind closed doors, says Spurs' Winks
Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks
by Dom Farrell
4 May 2020, 15:56

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has suggested a large number of Premier League players are opposed to playing games behind closed doors.

Over recent days, reports have emerged detailing aspects of 'Project Restart' – the fledgling plans to restart England's top flight at neutral venues without fans present, ideally by mid-June as the game aims to return despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But England international Winks feels any games would be significantly diminished without the presence of supporters.

"It's a possibility of course and that could happen. It's probably something that not every Premier League player wants to do," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's a strange situation not having the fans there. That's what makes football, that's what makes the atmosphere.

"It's what everybody plays for and lives for, it's for the fans. When you can't hear chanting, when you can't hear the crowd it's going to be a strange situation."

Winks experienced something similar when Croatia were forced to play their Nations League home game against England behind closed doors in 2018 and he was not a fan.

He said: "We had it last season with Croatia away and it was a very strange situation to be involved in.

"It's not something that I like and I know a lot of players feel the same way. It's not something that anybody really wants to do but if it's the necessary action that's got to be done, it has to be done."

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris concurs with Winks but also feels a compromise will have to be reached due to the economic pressures that the lockdown is placing upon clubs.

"It will be weird wherever it happens. Football is not a closed-door sport," he told L'Equipe.

"Without spectators, it is not the same sport. This is not how I see football. We are here together, to share our emotions. We all want full stadiums, with atmosphere, fans, colour and songs.

"But we must take the context into consideration. There are major economic issues that need to be understood at the level of clubs and federations. Everyone has to find the right compromise between health above all else and the need to finish this season."