football

Premier League clubs discuss two-week break amid surge in Covid-19 cases


Premier League clubs have reportedly held talks over a two-week ‘cooling off’ break in January amid mounting fears over surging coronavirus cases.

Numerous positive Covid-19 cases at Manchester City led to the postponement of their clash with Everton on Monday.

This prompted informal discussions between top-flight chairmen and there is shared concern that more matches will be called off

Sheffield United also registered a number of fresh cases but confirmed Tuesday evening’s match with Burnley will go ahead.

Elsewhere, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will not be on the sideline for the visit of West Ham after a member of his household bubble returned a positive test.



Top-flight chairmen are growing increasingly concerned by surging cases

This comes after Aston Villa versus Newcastle was postponed at the start of December following an outbreak at the latter.

The Daily Telegraph claims some chairmen are resigned to a mid-season break being necessary, while the government review of coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday will shape discussions going forward.

A key cause for concern for Premier League sides are the upcoming FA Cup third-round fixtures, which are scheduled to take place in early January.



Manchester City’s trip to Everton was called off on Monday



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The lower leagues have already seen multiple postponed matches, while all 64 clubs involved will have their players tested before the cup ties.

Elsewhere, the latest round of Premier League testing found 18 people with the virus – the highest figure in a single round of testing since it began in August.

A club doctor has also advised against matches continuing given the current ‘R’ rate and nine EFL matches were recently called off.

In the meantime, Manchester City are awaiting the results of a fresh round of testing to find out whether they can face Chelsea on Sunday and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup next Wednesday.

Organisers are facing an uphill battle to reschedule fixtures and the backlog would worsen if there was a two-week break in January.

The upcoming Euros are also due to start on 11 June, meaning scope to extend club competitions into the summer is very limited.

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