As confirmed on Tuesday evening, the Premier League’s clubs have been forced to come together for emergency talks, amid the concerning rise in positive Covid-19 cases across the division.
The major talking point in English football yesterday of course surrounded ongoings at Man City.
The Sky Blues have endured a difficult festive period, which first saw Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker, along with two members of the club’s backroom staff, test positive for Covid-19.
In turn, both players were forced to sit out their side’s meeting with Newcastle over the weekend.
Manchester City have confirmed that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and another two members of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.
Get well soon 🙏 pic.twitter.com/6nXqlaoKkr
— Goal (@goal) December 25, 2020
The days that followed, however, only saw the concerning situation at the Etihad continue to worsen.
In turn, on the back of confirmation that City had seen a further spike in positive Covid cases, word was subsequently forthcoming on Monday afternoon that the club’s scheduled Premier League meeting with Everton had been postponed:
Man City’s fixture at Everton, due to be played at 20:00 GMT this evening, has been postponed following a Premier League Board meeting
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 28, 2020
Whilst there had been hope that the scale of the outbreak in Pep Guardiola’s squad would represent an isolated situation, however, this has since not proven the case.
Taking to social media on Tuesday, just hours prior to their clash with Burnley, Sheffield United also confirmed a number of positive Covid cases at the club:
Sheffield United can confirm the club recorded a number of positive coronavirus tests after the latest round of testing.
The individuals who have tested positive have now entered into a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and Government guidelines.
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) December 29, 2020
This was swiftly followed by the announcement that Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl would not be in attendance for the Saints’ showdown with West Ham, after coming into close contact with an individual who has since returned a positive test.
Elsewhere, Arsenal, currently locked in action with Brighton, were not able to call on summer addition Gabriel Magalhaes this evening for the same reason, whilst the London derby clash between Tottenham and Fulham in 24 hours’ time has been thrown into doubt following an apparent outbreak in the latter’s camp.
As such, it goes without saying that the current situation in the Premier League is a worrying one.
Whilst fans and players alike are of course keen for football to continue, the health and safety of all involved must be put first.
And, as outlined above, such priorities have today forced representatives of clubs across the English top-flight landscape to enter into talks.
As per a report from the Telegraph, since backed by numerous other outlets, a meeting was held on Tuesday, to discuss the possibility of halting the campaign for a two-week period.
Such a stretch would come in January, with the UK government’s tier review on Wednesday set to provide a platform upon which further negotiations over plans for the Premier League season can continue.
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) December 29, 2020