Premier League golf equipment have rejected the thought of suspending Christmas matches, regardless of golf equipment struggling to fulfil their fixtures due to Covid.

Senior representatives of the highest flight’s 20 golf equipment met with league officers as we speak to contemplate their newest response to the pandemic, which is now being fuelled by the ultra-infectious Omicron variant.

A brief pause, dubbed a ‘festive firebreak, which might have concerned suspending a spherical of fixtures from December 28 to 30, was one of many choices below dialogue.

The assembly was unexpectedly organized on the finish of final week and got here after six of the ten Premier League fixtures this weekend had been postponed following outbreaks for Covid. In whole, 10 top-flight matches have been misplaced to the virus in a bit of greater than per week.

Nonetheless, regardless of some managers having spoken out in assist of a break, nearly all of membership’s have backed the league place and rejected the thought, at the least for now. 

Sportsmail understands that the need is to hold on and attempt to battle via with out an enforced pause, whereas enhancing security measures and incentivising vaccination amongst gamers with new measures. A overview can be carried out in two weeks. 

Nonetheless, the Premier League is conscious that no matter it decides might change, for the reason that Cupboard is assembly on Monday to debate whether or not additional restrictions must be imposed because of the unfold of Omicron.

Premier League clubs have rejected the idea of postponing Christmas games amid Covid

Premier League golf equipment have rejected the thought of suspending Christmas video games amid Covid

Newcastle duo Jacob Murphy (L) and Karl Darlow (R) show their Covid passes at St James' Park

Newcastle duo Jacob Murphy (L) and Karl Darlow (R) present their Covid passes at St James’ Park

League officers used the assembly to strengthen the foundations round postponements. Golf equipment have complained after some video games had been known as off whereas others needed to go forward.

The Premier League has made clear to golf equipment they are going to be anticipated to make use of eligible U21 gamers to make up the numbers the place first-team regulars are dominated out via Covid, harm or sickness and likewise harassed that officers might comply with up and examine.

As well as, the highest flight has insisted that non-first-team matches, corresponding to U23 video games, shouldn’t be scheduled a short-time earlier than a Premier League fixture to make sure essentially the most gamers can be found as doable.  

Aston Villa’s U23 facet performed on Friday night time forward of the Villans’ house sport towards Burnley, which was postponed only some hours earlier than kick off on Saturday, following a Covid outbreak. Now, the league has mentioned even in these circumstances an eligible U21 participant could be thought-about accessible.

On the assembly, golf equipment had been reassured that as a way to keep away from a fixture pile-up, the FA would scrap replays for FA Cup rounds three and 4.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp warned Premier League clubs will need help to continue playing

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp warned Premier League golf equipment will need assistance to proceed taking part in

For a break to come back into power it might have wanted the assist of at the least 14 of the 20 prime flight sides.

The Premier League is in a comparatively weak place since the latest figures (from October) counsel solely 68 per cent of gamers are double vaccinated, the bottom proportion among the many main leagues in Europe.

Since two jabs and a booster are wanted for vital safety towards Omicron the prospect of the variant spreading as soon as it has penetrated a membership’s bubble is elevated. 


Brighton vs Tottenham – Sunday, December 12

Brentford vs Man United – Tuesday, December 14

Burnley vs Watford – Wednesday, December 15

Leicester vs Tottenham – Thursday, December 16

Man Utd vs Brighton – Saturday, December 18

Southampton vs Brentford – Saturday, December 18

Aston Villa vs Burnley – Saturday December 18 

Watford vs Crystal Palace – Saturday, December 18

West Ham vs Norwich – Saturday, December 18

Everton vs Leicester – Sunday, December 19   

Brentford boss Thomas Frank proposed the thought of ‘circuit-break’  final week so as ‘break the chain’ of an infection in golf equipment after the Bees house sport with  Manchester United was postponed.

United solely had seven gamers accessible after an in depth outbreak, which led to the closure of their coaching floor.

And Newcastle supervisor Eddie Howe has recommended the season because it stands is ‘on a knife-edge’ and raised the opportunity of a pause if it averted some golf equipment falling behind within the variety of video games performed, which may influence on the competitors.

‘I do not assume we wish half the video games performed and half not performed,’ Howe mentioned his facet misplaced 4-0 at house to Manchester Metropolis. ‘The league actually loses one thing if it turns into disjointed by way of video games performed. Whenever you begin shedding gamers to Covid then the concern is the competitors turns into barely unfair and I do not assume anybody desires to see that.

‘A call must be made to make sure integrity is maintained within the competitors. I feel it’s on a knife-edge.

Metropolis supervisor supervisor Pep Guardiola mentioned the issue was a lot larger than soccer, however indicated his membership would assist the Premier League’s place.

Burnley’s Sean Dyche final week questioned the worth of a break, given the excessive ranges of an infection locally, which pose an ongoing menace to footballers, similar to everybody else. And Steve Parish, the Crystal Palace chairman, supported the continuation of the league.

Public well being consultants have additionally informed Sportsmail that whereas Covid – and the Omicron variant – are spreading so quickly in society a break can be of little worth.

When the golf equipment resumed after any break they might face the identical problem of constructive circumstances and postponed matches till the height of neighborhood infections handed, in direction of the tip of January. 

Man City manager Pep Guardiola stressed that the Covid spread was not just football's issue

Man Metropolis supervisor Pep Guardiola harassed that the Covid unfold was not simply soccer’s problem

Professor Paul Hunter, an professional in public well being on the College of East Anglia, mentioned if he ran soccer he would brace for a chaotic six weeks, however proceed. 

Nonetheless, the difficulty of the way to handle outbreaks of Covid – for each gamers and followers – stays a reside one.  The conclusion seems to be that the Premier League will rigorously implement the foundations round fielding groups the place 14 eligible gamers can be found. 

Chelsea supervisor Tomas Tuchel expressed his disappointment after his Covid-hit facet drew 0-0 towards Wolves at Molineux. Tuchel mentioned he was ‘offended’ after the Premier League turned down Chelsea’s request to postpone the sport.

Consequently, the Blues named simply 4 outfield gamers on the bench at Molineux. The primary XI was aggressive however they struggled to create probabilities because the Blues mini-slump continued.

Chief executive of the Premier League Richard Masters arriving at the organisation's officers this morning before hosting an online call with clubs to discuss the pandemic

Chief government of the Premier League Richard Masters arriving on the organisation’s officers this morning earlier than internet hosting a web-based name with golf equipment to debate the pandemic

Aston Villa postponed their conflict with Burnley after a Covid outbreak simply hours earlier than KO

Tuchel mentioned the well being and security of gamers is being put at ‘enormous danger’ by asking them to hold on taking part in amid rising circumstances of Covid-19

Jurgen Klopp has additionally mentioned that golf equipment will ‘need assistance’ if they’re to play on.

Beneath the foundations, set out in Appendix 17 of the Premier League’s handbook, golf equipment are anticipated to contemplate all eligible gamers.

Medical opinion may even be taken into consideration and a sport could be known as off if an outbreak is taken into account uncontrolled and will unfold quickly to different members of the squad.

The foundations on Covid postponements had been outlined on the assembly. Golf equipment have been requested to make sure U21 gamers, who’ve the related expertise, can be found for choice within the occasion of additional constructive assessments to first crew gamers.

And people on the decision and within the room have been warned that after they deemed a participant unavailable because of harm the league’s chief medical officer may examine.

Golf equipment had been informed that no postponements could be permitted the place 13 outfield gamers and one goalkeeper from the squad checklist can be found.

The place fewer than 13 plus one can be found, the stability could be met by what have been deemed ‘appropriately skilled below 21s’, which may embody any U21 participant who was began a primary crew match within the present or previous season for his or her present membership, earlier EFL membership or any abroad membership in first crew competitors.

Within the case of an U21 goalkeeper, they’ll have been listed on the crew sheet for 5 or extra matches within the previous 12 months.

Golf equipment have additionally been suggested that the Premier League board won’t take into account what they’ve deemed ‘subjective components’ corresponding to the standard or expertise of accessible versus unavailable gamers and whether or not a crew is missing in a specific place outdoors of goalkeeper.

Ought to they deem a participant unavailable because of harm the league’s chief medical officer might inquire to ‘verify standing’.

For away video games, the travelling get together should include as many accessible gamers as doable, with Premier League matches taking precedence over non-first crew competitions. Ought to eligible Beneath 21s have performed in such a contest a short while earlier than the Premier League match they’ll nonetheless be deemed accessible. 

Gamers and employees at the moment are examined day by day, utilizing lateral movement assessments, at Premier League golf equipment. As well as, they’re examined someday earlier than a match, however these outcomes are solely returned on the morning of a sport.

The Premier League has held a meeting to discuss the coronavirus situation on Monday

The Premier League has held a gathering to debate the coronavirus scenario on Monday

This has led some matches to be postponed at very quick discover.

Watford’s match at Burnley on Wednesday night time and the Clarets’ journey to Aston Villa on Saturday, had been known as off little greater than two hours earlier than kick off.

In every case, away followers had been effectively into their journeys and had incurred vital expense, along with the ticket worth.

In the meantime, there have been 19 video games postponed within the EFL. The league has stepped up its efforts to handle Covid, shifting to a ‘purple protocol’ final week, which brings in every day lateral movement assessments and extra social distancing. The EFL revealed final week that 25 per cent of gamers had not been jabbed in any respect and had no intention of taking the vaccine.



Mikel Arteta revealed Arsenal had been pressured to shut their London Colney coaching floor after reporting a ‘few circumstances’ amongst gamers and employees following their 2-0 victory over West Ham United. Defender Pablo Mari and midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga had been amongst these to check constructive and subsequently missed the win at Leeds. 

Aston Villa 

Compelled to postpone Premier League conflict with Burnley on December 18 simply two hours earlier than kick-off after an elevated quantity of constructive Covid-19 check outcomes inside their taking part in squad. 


The Bees have 13 circumstances amongst gamers and employees – the membership at the moment are calling for a circuit-breaker szhutdown to assist golf equipment get well. Their coaching floor has been closed and in consequence their journey to Southampton on Saturday has been postponed. 


Would have been with out a number of gamers for Tottenham’s go to on Thursday because of Covid earlier than the sport was postponed – regardless of preliminary calls being rejected – hours earlier than kick-off.  Their coaching floor was closed on Thursday morning to include the outbreak however given they’ve an inadequate variety of gamers accessible, their weekend journey to Everton can also be off.

Manchester United

Case numbers are at present unknown however a big outbreak noticed their sport with Brentford postponed. Calls to have Saturday’s sport with Brighton to be postponed had been accepted on Thursday, and it has emerged that United would have had solely seven accessible gamers for that sport such is the influence of the outbreak. Their coaching advanced is closed till Tuesday at the least, as a way to cut back the chance of transmission.


Had a request for Wednesday’s sport with Wolves to be postponed rejected by the Premier League following an outbreak on the membership. Graham Potter confirmed there have been ‘three to 4’ constructive circumstances earlier than the sport, which they misplaced 1-0. Saturday’s sport with Manchester United has now been postponed.


Supervisor Dean Smith was going through an anxious wait to find the total extent of the outbreak on the membership. Josh Sargent, Lukas Rupp and Pierre Lees-Melou had been absent from the squad that confronted Aston Villa in midweek for ‘Covid-related’ causes, however whereas Christos Tzolis is the one confirmed participant to check constructive, extra constructive check outcomes have been returned. The Canaries had discussions with the Premier League over Saturday’s conflict with West Ham and it was agreed to postpone as they’ve an inadequate variety of gamers accessible. 


Noticed their midweek sport with Burnley postponed simply hours earlier than kick-off. With their coaching floor closed, their house match with Crystal Palace has now been confirmed as postponed too. Case numbers are at present unknown however they don’t ample gamers to fulfil the Palace match.


Spurs had been the primary Premier League membership to be hit by the Omicron variant final week and noticed video games towards Brighton and Rennes postponed after circumstances reached double digits amongst gamers and employees. Those that examined constructive for the virus are anticipated to return within the subsequent couple of days after finishing their 10-day self-isolation interval. Spurs’ conflict with Leicester on Thursday was postponed regardless of preliminary calls for to have the sport known as off had been rejected, however Sunday’s conflict with Liverpool is because of go forward.


After Brentford, the Blues grew to become the newest membership to be hit by a Covid outbreak, after it was confirmed forward of their sport with Everton that 4 extra first-team gamers had examined constructive. Mateo Kovacic was the primary Chelsea participant to get the virus within the outbreak this week, with Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell following. Neverthless, their sport with Everton went forward and was drawn. Regardless of recording seven constructive Covid circumstances, the Blues noticed a request for his or her journey to Wolves rejected and Tuchel fumed on the determination to permit the sport – which ended 0-0 – to go forward on Sunday.


It was confirmed simply an hour earlier than kick-off towards Newcastle on Thursday night time that Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk had been all out having examined constructive for Covid. Midfielder Thiago additionally examined constructive for Covid earlier than Sunday’s journey to Spurs and Jurgen Klopp mentioned it’s ‘not doable’ for the Reds to proceed taking part in if extra gamers fall sick.