Redfern slams ‘out of order’ FA Covid-19 decision after Bristol City suffer heavy defeat

The FA were ‘out of order’ for not allowing Bristol City women to cancel their game against Manchester City after five players tested positive for Covid-19, according to Sheffield United boss Neil Redfern.

A depleted Robins side subsequently went on to loose Saturday’s game 8-1 against Manchester City.

The FA has come in for criticism for the way it handled the situation, after other games were called off earlier in the season.

In the EFL there have been similar scenarios, with some games being called off and some sides forced to play despite a number of absentees.

Speaking after watching his side lose to Liverpool at Prenton Park on Sunday, Redfern slammed the authorities for forcing City to go ahead with the game.

He said: “The Manchester City and Bristol game should have never gone ahead, it was out of order.

“They had five players out and it should never have gone ahead.

“Why should Bristol City be at a disadvantage? This is a pandemic, people haven’t got colds, it is Covid.

“There is no way it should have gone ahead, and there has been inconsistencies with decisions, it has to be a level playing field.

“There are arguably three or four of the bigger clubs in the top flight who are all capable of fielding team teams.

“But Bristol weren’t, where is the fairness in that?”

Redfern, whose side went into the weekend top of the FA Women’s Championship, was full of praise for his side after the narrow defeat to Liverpool.

The Blades are one of four sides separated by just a point at the top of the league, something the former Leeds United boss insisted shows how the league has developed.

He added: “It is tight at the top and that can only be a good thing.

“For too long this division has been poor, it has been two teams and that’s it.

“When I was at Belles we won it by ten points, it’s not like that now.

“You’ve got us, Liverpool, Leicester, Durham are a good side, London Lionesses are full time.

“It is a proper division in its own right and it is tough to get out of it and it will go right to the wire.”

Despite being one of the only part time team in amongst the early pace setters, Redfern believes his side won’t have the underdog tag this season.

He added: “I don’t see us as an underdog, we’ve got good players.

“We are not full time and that is an advnatage, to be able to train every day.

“But what we have is a togetherness at Sheffield United, that showed with the men’s side getting to the Premier League.

“When I go into the training ground it is a feeling of just us, not the first team, then the academy then the women’s team.

“There is a good feeling at Sheffield United.”

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