COVID-19: EPL clubs meet to discuss options
Premier League clubs will meet tomorrow to discuss the escalating crisis around the Coronavirus pandemic.
With 10 games postponed over the past week, including six already from this weekend’s 10-match fixture list, clubs want the chance to discuss the options.
Managers and captains are also due to hold their meetings.
Aston Villa boss, Steven Gerrard, said he hoped the meetings would provide “clarity” to “a lot of concerns and unanswered questions”.
Meanwhile, Premier League chief, Richard Masters, has written to clubs, urging players to get the vaccine and stressed the importance of the league completing the season.
Brentford boss, Thomas Frank, led calls for all matches to be called off until December 26 to enable a reset.
Some feel the break should be longer – but others such as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp do not believe it should happen.
The Premier League said on Thursday it intends to carry on playing matches as long as it is safe to do so.
Meanwhile, Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, has been cleared to resume preparations for today’s trip to Newcastle.
The Spaniard had returned an inconclusive coronavirus test and cancelled Friday’s news conference, but a subsequent PCR test came back negative.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: “The regulators will make the decision over whether a game is played or not, but we all need to understand the reasons behind it.
“We are going to have to find a way. We knew when we started the season this (COVID-19 problems) could be a possibility, and I am sure there was a Plan A, B and C. We need clarity.”
For Aston Villa boss, Steven Gerrard: “We all want the same thing and want the game to continue. I don’t have any concerns but I do have trust in the Premier League and the people who make the decisions.
“In terms of being in my shoes I have to prepare the team as best I can. We have had some cases in the playing staff and have had some cases in the staff.
“I’m hoping we have a good 24 hours or we could have a situation that grows and gets worse here.”
Newcastle boss, Eddie Howe: “I think it’s probably on a knife edge would be my verdict on it.
“I think when you start losing players to COVID-19, I think then the worry for me is that the competition becomes slightly unfair. I don’t think anyone wants to see that.
“The biggest thing people want to see is a fair league. They don’t want to see disparity in games and players missing.
We all want the product to continue, I’m desperate to continue the programme myself but I do think that the welfare of the players and supporters has to come first.”