3 February 2021
Members of the public have been contacting the NHBF with their concerns about the number of professional footballers who appear to have expertly cut hair.
In response, the NHBF has written an open letter (see below) to the Professional Footballers’ Association, the English Football League, the Premier League and The Football Association to emphasise how crucial it is for everyone, including both footballers and professional hairdressers, to comply with lockdown rules and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
27 January 2021
Over the past week, we have been contacted by members of the public raising their concerns that professional football players appear to have had fresh haircuts, despite the mandated closure of hair salons and barbershops. Of course, we realise that the players may have cut their own hair, or had it cut by someone within their bubble, but there seems to be a growing assumption that they must have knowingly broken the rules.
I am sure you are aware that the current coronavirus regulations (The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020) mean that hair stylists and barbers, whether premises based or freelance, are not permitted to offer services at the moment. There is no exemption for sportspeople, so when the public see people who appear to think that the rules don’t apply to them, it really hits a nerve. With the whole country struggling as the pandemic continues, it’s important that those in the public eye are sensitive to the need to show that we are all playing our part.
It is also important to stress the reasoning behind the regulations themselves, which is to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and ultimately save lives. Looking specifically within football, each time a player flouts the rules and gets a haircut, they increase the risk of getting and transmitting the disease, which in turn puts the rest of the squad and team staff at risk. As we have seen, this can lead to matches being cancelled, putting pressure on other clubs and even the wider competition.
I thought it was important that we made you aware of the concerns being expressed to us. I urge you to remind players of the rules and of their responsibilities, not least to the hairdressers and barbers, who would face a fine if they were found to have broken the law. I hope you will therefore appreciate the spirit in which this letter is intended. I’m sure we can agree that the sooner we can stamp out coronavirus the sooner we can all return to normal, and once again contribute to the lives of the great British public in our own unique ways.