'We are commodities' - Aston Villa star Mings says Project Restart is 'possibly 100 per cent financially driven'

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings has said that Premier League players know they are "commodities" and that the league's restart is almost entirely about money. 

The Premier League has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but on Thursday the league's shareholders announced that play is provisionally scheduled to restart on June 17.

The English top flight is aiming to make its resumption as safe as possible, as players and club staff have been tested for Covid-19 consistently in recent weeks.

But Mings has said that he accepts that money is still the driving force behind the restart, as the league looks to complete the 2019-20 season in part to fulfill its broadcast contract obligations.

"The motives are possibly 100 per cent financially driven rather than integrity driven," Mings told the Daily Mail.

"I am all for playing again because we have no other choice. As players, we were the last people to be consulted about Project Restart and that is because of where we fall in football’s order of priority.

"That isn’t a problem. We are commodities in the game and we accept that."

Some Premier League players, such as Chelsea's N'Golo Kante and Watford's Troy Deeney, have opted out of training due to fears over the virus. Mings has said it's important that players are given that option.

"We got the option to come back to training and that’s fine because we didn’t have to but if the FA and the EFL and the Government and UEFA and the Premier League all say you are going back to play, it really doesn’t make any difference what the players think because you are going back to play. It is get in or get out," the 27-year-old added.

"It is important that players are given the choice. It’s a personal thing. If you don’t want to do it, you absolutely don’t have to. People have aired their concerns about families’ health and I back those people 100%.

"That is something people have to take into consideration really carefully. No one should ever be on the end of personal abuse for making a decision based on their families’ needs or health needs."

Though Mings has said he knows the league's resumption is primarily about money, he accepts that returning to the pitch now is part of being a Premier League footballer.

"Project Restart is financially driven," Mings said. "I think everybody accepts that.

"But that’s fine with me because I look at this monster that is Premier League football and the revenue it creates and I didn’t moan about being a part of it when everything was great so I’m not going to moan now when the atmosphere around the game is more hesitant."