PREMIER LEAGUE clubs fear another season shutdown amid the rise of the Omicron variant, according to reports. A record number of positive tests
PREMIER LEAGUE clubs fear another season shutdown amid the rise of the Omicron variant, according to reports.
A record number of positive tests for Premier League players and staff were recorded yesterday as fears grow that more games could be called off.
Premier League games are in danger of not going ahead with clubs suffering from Covid outbreaks[/caption]
Worries have been increased by a slow uptake on booster jabs among players – with the Mail revealing that only Wolves are on pace to meet the Government’s target of seeing all over-18s receiving their third vaccine before the end of the month.
Leeds and Brentford are not far off Wolves – although with many players having not been jabbed until October – a significant number of Prem stars may not receive their booster until mid-late January.
Tottenham’s scheduled match against Brighton on Sunday had to be postponed after a Covid outbreak hit the Spurs camp.
And the North London side’s Under-23s have also suffered from positive tests in their squad.
Elsewhere Manchester United were forced to close their Carrington training ground on Monday due to coronavirus.
Their fixture against Brentford in London on Tuesday was scrapped very late on Monday night.
Most read in football
Man Utd to face Atletico after shocking re-draw, Liverpool meet Inter
Rooney's £150k car daubed with graffiti after parking it at Christmas market
Ex-Prem star Charlie Adam held on suspicion of drink-driving as car 'hit tree'
Ex-Man City star Otamendi has 'belt tied around neck' in violent home robbery
Chelsea land Lille second Champions League last-16 draw as Man Utd get Atletico
Botched Champions League draw saw Man Utd land PSG while Chelsea faced Lille
Meanwhile Aston Villa have had positive tests in their camp, as they also had to close their Bodymoor Heath training facility over the weekend.
In total, there were 42 cases of Covid in the week to Sunday after 3,805 players and club staff were tested – a jump on the 12 positive tests in the previous seven days of testing.
The 40 positive cases at the turn of 2021 was the previous highest number of infections at Premier League clubs in a week since testing started to be announced in May 2020.
The Premier League now demand that players be tested three times a week rather than twice as was the case earlier this season, with clubs now braced for testing to return to being a ‘daily’ measure.
SunSport understands that Prem chiefs will take whatever steps necessary to keep games going, although further postponements feel inevitable.
Games could start to be played with reduced attendances, or even behind closed doors like last season.
Championship clubs have also been affected by Covid, with QPR’s game against Sheffield United being called off.
Mark Warburton’s promotion chasing QPR said a ‘number of positive tests’ have left them with ‘insufficient numbers to fulfil’ Monday’s game.
From this week, supporters will need to prove they have been double jabbed or proof of a negative lateral flow test to be allowed into games with a capacity of over 4,000.
Earlier this month, German giants Bayern Munich confirmed matches would once again be played behind closed doors due to the spiralling number of positive Covid cases.
The Bundesliga outfit won’t allow fans into the Allianz Arena until next year at the earliest.
And the Premier League are claimed to potentially follow in their footsteps as clubs fear a Christmas lockdown at grounds.
Premier League regulations say matches should be staged if 14 or more players are available, but the competition’s board has flexibility to decide postponements.
Read our Football news live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals