Premier League considering two-week hiatus as coronavirus spreads

Tuesday, 29 December, 2020 24comments  |  Jump to last
Clubs in England's top-flight have reportedly discussed the possibility of a fortnight's break in the season in January as the number of positive tests for coronavirus at Premier League clubs grows.

According to The Telegraph, Chairs at some clubs have held informal talks after Everton's match with Manchester City was postponed at late notice last night following a spate of new positive tests among the latter's staff.

Striker Gabriel Jesus and fullback Kyle Walker were already in self-isolation having tested positive themselves a few days previously and City requested that the game be called off, albeit without consultation with Everton.

Sheffield United, whom Everton played on Boxing Day, have revealed a number of cases at their club but their match against Burnley is going ahead this evening.

Meanwhile, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is also in "quarantine" after a member of his household returned a positive result.

In all, the Premier League has reported 18 new cases of the virus from the latest round of testing, the highest count since Project Restart last summer and there are fears that the new variant of the novel coronavirus could see that number climb higher still in the coming days.

Additionally, with the United Kingdom's spiking Covid-19 numbers, the Government's review of tiered restrictions could lead to another national lockdown and that would restrict all fans from attending matches for the time being.

Liverpool, as a Tier 2 region, is currently the only city still able to host up to 2,000 fans inside their Premier League stadiums.  

Reader Comments (24)

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Paul Hewitt
1 Posted 29/12/2020 at 19:02:25
2 week won't be long enough.
Patrick McFarlane
2 Posted 29/12/2020 at 21:27:54
The Guardian is reporting that The Premier League and Football League have played down concerns the season may have to be put on hold because of the sharp rise in coronavirus cases, which has led to nearly 50 matches being postponed since Christmas.

I would think a lot will depend on what new measures if any are put in place by the government tomorrow, it's likely that many areas will remain in Tier 4 or those that are below that tier will be put into a higher one.

Premier League plays down suspension rumours

Brian Murray
3 Posted 30/12/2020 at 13:06:59
Reports suggest the two week hiatus maybe extended until Liverpool get their injured players back. Unconfirmed obviously 🙄
Thomas Richards
4 Posted 30/12/2020 at 13:12:31
If there is a two week break from football the knock on affect will cause big congestion.
We are already 4 games behind usual schedule, 3 games missed in the two weeks will mean teams are 7 games behind schedule.
Brian Williams
5 Posted 30/12/2020 at 13:21:32
Brian the report goes further actually and simply states that it will last as long as the rs deem fit.
Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 30/12/2020 at 13:23:14
The concern is the EPLs defined rules at the start of this season in respect to the management of COViD19, and H&S.

It would seem they are now subject to club specific review, based on the mitigating scenarios, which caused our match on Monday, to be postponed.

If there’s a x2 week break, based on the nature of the COViD19, viruses, how can an6 governing body, legislate a x2 week break in fixtures?

God knows, but rates are rising nationally and on Merseyside, soIm expecting the country will be sen5 back to lockdown, as we were in 03/2020.

But that’s my hunch. Sod’s law, as Everton are on the up and up, but, the health of the UK is more important than football.

Bu5 hopefully Everton, can get a good result against an improved West Ham, since we played them, in the Caribou.

All stay safe and well.

Thomas Richards
7 Posted 30/12/2020 at 14:10:55
Rob Hooton
8 Posted 30/12/2020 at 14:28:25
Brian, it will be decided by ‘independent adjudicator’ Mark Lawrensen!
Jim Bennings
9 Posted 30/12/2020 at 15:39:09
There won't be any Euros next summer. I'm still scratching my head as to why we have been allowing these international matches this season so far?

My bet is the season won't finish until the middle of June and the Euros will simply need scrapping and just erasing from record books.

Steavey Buckley
10 Posted 30/12/2020 at 16:41:05
The Covid pandemic had no effect on international matches played in November, as players were forced to break the relative safety of their clubs to fly all over the world to satisfy FIFA's demands for international football.
Alex Gray
11 Posted 30/12/2020 at 16:44:53
International games need to go for me. A two week break won’t achieve much in my opinion. Saying that, I don't know the answers.
Tony Heron
12 Posted 30/12/2020 at 18:13:06
It amazes me that some are worried about fixture pile up and the chance it gives for rivals to get their players fit. Is that more important than the potential loss of life? The devastating effect on people's livelihoods? The NHS staff putting themselves at risk and working themselves to a standstill?

Carlo once said, "Football is the most important of the less important things in the world." Sorry to disagree with the great man, but I would rate it even lower than that.

Paul Smith
13 Posted 30/12/2020 at 18:18:54
Well said, Tony. Some perspective goes along way.

I manage an NHS community service and the stress is never-ending, having to revert back to what we did in March is a huge ball-ache (sorry, James). But if it's what is needed to keep people safe, it's worth all the hard graft myself and my staff will have to put in. Football can wait again.

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 30/12/2020 at 22:07:33
Well, the wife has just been diagnosed with it, which probably means me and the lad have it. I honestly don’t care if there is a hiatus or not.
John Raftery
15 Posted 30/12/2020 at 23:40:33
Tony (12) I thought that quote had been attributed to Herr Klopp?
Tony Heron
16 Posted 31/12/2020 at 07:40:40
Hi John @15. My mate Google says it was Carlo.
Brian Wilkinson
17 Posted 01/01/2021 at 16:55:42
I am not sure why some are saying typical, this 2 week break could benifit Everton more than others.

It will give us chance to get the likes of James, Allan and Digne closer to starting, it will give our squad a well earned break to recharge our batteries.

Once it resumes, will also be when champions league, Europa league kicks back in as well, so they will be playing extra games.

Get the West Ham game out of the way and a 2 week break could be perfect for Everton.

Tony Everan
18 Posted 05/01/2021 at 17:33:46
There would be a better chance of keeping the show on the road if certain players followed the very strict rules and showed some restraint.

I would be bitterly disappointed if there was a hiatus but it has to be accepted that safety comes first.

Brian Harrison
19 Posted 07/01/2021 at 15:19:29
Aston Villa report significant Covid-19 outbreak and their training ground is closed. No decision as to if their game against Liverpool will go ahead on Friday as planned.
Anthony Flack
20 Posted 07/01/2021 at 15:52:07
Liverpool will expect the Villa match to go ahead, but expect the Villa defenders to stay 2 m from Salah for the whole match – and get at least 3 penalties.
Rob Halligan
21 Posted 07/01/2021 at 16:00:02
Anthony, more likely the RS will expect, nay, demand, a bye into the next round.
Patrick McFarlane
22 Posted 08/01/2021 at 22:53:20
The Premier League once again more concerned with the product's image as opposed to the safety of the players and staff, if they felt so strongly about the rules surrounding Covid, why didn't they implement them at the beginning of the season and forcefully enforce them when players and or clubs broke them?

What are the odds that an Everton player transgresses and the club gets docked points?

Enhanced Rules

Steavey Buckley
23 Posted 08/01/2021 at 23:04:02
The virus won't subside until about April when there are enough people vaccinated. The present lock down is occurring because of the effect of the virus on older people who are ending up in hospital, overwhelming health services and NHS staff. But if footballers remain inside their 'bubble,' keep their children at home and wear face masks to go and shop, why is their a need for a circuit break?
Patrick McFarlane
24 Posted 11/01/2021 at 13:13:36
Aston Villa's match versus Spurs in midweek is postponed, Everton's visit to Villa Park has been moved to Sunday 17th January with a noon kick-off.

No Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the game at Wolves due to hamstring injury and there will be a fitness test on Richarlison.

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