Premier League bosses face frustration as shutdown bid set to be rejected in Covid meeting

PREMIER LEAGUE clubs will meet to discuss pausing the season due to England's, and the league's, growing number of Covid cases.


Posted Monday, December 20, 2021 by Express.co.uk

Premier League clubs will meet on Monday (December 20) with managers pushing for a shutdown to avoid the rising wave of Omicron infections causing further chaos in football.  But there are enough clubs who want to carry on through the current phase of the pandemic that moves to force a break are expected to be overruled.

A majority 14-6 vote is needed to apply an emergency brake and bring a temporary halt to the season - but there is expected to be enough opposition to rule that likelihood out. 

Some managers want the season paused until January 7 to stem the rising tide of Covid infections up and down the country.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is hoping that emergency measures brought in over the past seven days will keep games on. But new measures are also up for discussion - including a proposal to force unvaccinated players to train and travel separately to reduce the spread of infection.

Masters has written to clubs urging players to get the vaccine - and stressed the importance of the league completing the season.

Premier League bosses face frustration as shutdown bid set to be rejected in Covid meeting
Premier League bosses face frustration in Covid meeting as shutdown bid set to be rejected

Ten Premier League games have so far been postponed over the past week, wiping out over half the weekend's fixtures.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank was one of the managers leading the call for a temporary shut-down - but Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp has come out strongly against the idea, and other managers back his stance.

Already some clubs face a serious backlog of fixtures, with Burnley three games behind their rivals, and Tottenham also playing catch up.

A major problem for the league is that there are only two completely clear midweeks left between now and the end of the season, in which to reschedule games.

Clubs will today also discuss tightening up rules over postponing games - and giving fans more clarity.

Currently, each decision is taken on a case-by-case basis, but clubs are guided that if 14 or more players are available then permission will not be granted to postpone.

Burnley's games against Watford and Aston Villa were both called off at short notice after fans had travelled, which caused anger among fans.

One proposal set to be discussed today is for teams to have PCR tests the night before matches - with players staying in ‘bubbles’ 24 hours before games.

Chelsea had a late request to postpone yesterday’s clash at Wolves rejected, after announcing seven positive cases, and said they were "deeply disappointed" at having to play.

Managers and captains are also due to hold their own meetings today - and there is also disagreement between them on the best way forward.

Delaying the end of the season would cause huge logistical problems.

The Nations League is due to start on 4 June - and next season is meant to start a week earlier (August 6) to fit in the winter World Cup in Qatar.

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EPL


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