Premier League clubs set for key coronavirus crisis talks

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Premier League clubs will hold talks on Monday amid the coronavirus crisis.

After a difficult week, the protocols surrounding postponements in cases of Covid-19 outbreaks are set to be discussed at a shareholders meeting on Monday.

Five games were postponed on Saturday while Leicester’s trip to Everton was also called off on Sunday, with the Foxes battling a Covid-19 outbreak.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters arrives on Monday
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters arrives on Monday (Jonathan Brady/PA)

It was reported on Sunday an entire round of fixtures, most likely the games scheduled between December 28-30, could be postponed so teams can avoid playing three times between Boxing Day and January 3.

So far, the league has been considering applications for postponements on a case-by-case basis but there has been criticism over the decision process.

The timing of decisions to call off some games has also caused frustration, with Aston Villa’s clash with Burnley called off just over two hours before kick-off on Saturday.

All clubs are expected to be present at the virtual meeting for senior club representatives. It is understood further calls for managers and captains are likely to take place later in the week.

The issue of vaccination uptake among players is also expected to be discussed in a meeting likely to be dominated by Covid-19 issues. The English Football League published figures this week stating 25 per cent of its players did not intend to get vaccinated.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would be in favour of a break but only if it meant players got their booster jabs.

He said: “If everybody gets boosted and it is two weeks at home and we have no more cases then fine, let’s go home and wait for that.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wants players to have booster jabs
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wants players to have booster jabs (Adam Davy/PA)

“But if we just stop it and don’t do anything, then I don’t see the benefit.”

Chelsea were unhappy a request to postpone Sunday’s Premier League match at Wolves, which ended 0-0, was rejected despite their seven positive cases.

Boss Thomas Tuchel said: “We were put in a huge risk of health and safety to the players, not just because of Covid but also physically. I’m not sure if I’ll catch Covid. Hopefully I will not catch it.”

Chelsea’s request is understood to have fallen on deaf ears because the Blues were deemed to have had enough players to fulfil the fixture under Premier League regulations.

Meanwhile, the EFL, which has also been hit by a raft of postponements, says it is maintaining constant open dialogue with all clubs over the situation.

The league is also planning for all four Carabao Cup quarter-final ties to go ahead this week.

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