Thomas Frank calls for weekend games to be postponed amid coronavirus concerns

·3-min read

Brentford manager Thomas Frank has called for the upcoming round of Premier League fixtures to be postponed to allow clubs to deal with coronavirus outbreaks.

Frank saw his side’s clash with Manchester United go under on Tuesday as the country deals with the Omicron variant, with Burnley’s match with Watford on Wednesday becoming the third Premier League fixture in a week to be called off.

Frank and the Bees have Covid issues of their own to deal with ahead of a Saturday trip to Southampton and the Dane would like to see a break in play to help manage the situation across the league.

“We think we should postpone the full round of Premier League games this weekend,” he said on Thursday morning.

“Covid cases are going through the roof at all Premier League clubs, everyone is dealing with it and having problems.

“To postpone this round and also the Carabao Cup round would give everyone a week at least, or four or five days to clean and do everything at the training ground so everything is clean and you break the chain.”

Frank was informed of four more Covid cases overnight – bringing the current total involving players and staff at the club to 13 – midway through his Thursday morning press conference.

Frank was told on Thursday that the number of coronavirus cases among Brentford players and staff had reached 13 (Tim Goode/PA).
Frank was told on Thursday that the number of coronavirus cases among Brentford players and staff had reached 13 (Tim Goode/PA).

And he believes a decision to halt this weekend’s round of top-flight fixtures could be enough to sure the busy festive programme will be able to go ahead largely as planned.

“We fully respect that we want to play and it is important football keeps going, and this way we can make sure Boxing Day keeps going, I’m 100 per cent sure of that,” added Frank.

“This Omicron variant is running like wildfire around the world and I think we need to do all we can to protect and avoid it. I think we can do a lot by closing down training grounds for three, four or five days, and then we can go again.”

Burnley’s clash with Watford was postponed – with the announcement coming just two and a half hours before the scheduled kick-off time – due to an outbreak in the Hornets’ squad.

Clarets defender Matt Lowton was asked at a press conference on Thursday what he made of Frank’s suggestion, and he said: “I’m not sure to be honest.

“From my point of view, I just want to play football. I think from a player’s point of view, we want to play – we want to come to the weekend and have the game (at Aston Villa on Saturday), have the buzz, that’s what we’ve trained for all week.

“But obviously the safety of players, fans and things like that is paramount. So hopefully the game can go ahead, but I can see why – I suppose if they did call it like that, you can see where they are coming from. Hopefully we can go ahead as safely as possible.”

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