Premier League fixture ‘circuit breaker’ possible as clubs consider ‘two-week cooling off’ period and, but managers divided

Sam Allardyce has strongly backed calls for a ‘circuit breaker’ in the Premier League to help control the rising cases of positive coronavirus cases in the top flight.

However, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he ‘can’t see the benefit’ of a break in action due to the already piled up fixture schedule.

Reports claim Premier League clubs are now considering a two-week ‘cooling off’ period in January in response to the highest number of positive tests this week.

Sam Allardyce admits he is ‘very concerned’ about his own health due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the Premier League

According to The Telegraph, informal talks have been held between some top-flight chairmen after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Manchester City’s squad caused their game with Everton to be called off on Monday night.

Other clubs have also been affected, with Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl missing Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with West Ham after a member of his household tested positive.

Fulham boss Scott Parker was forced to miss his side’s against the Saints last week after he tested positive, with it still not confirmed if the Cottagers’ London derby against Tottenham on Wednesday will go ahead.

It is believed proposals have been made for the season to be stopped for a fortnight in a bid to halt the growing spread of the disease.

And newly appointed West Brom boss Allardyce has insisted it is the ‘right thing’ to cope with the outbreak.

Speaking following his side’s 5-0 defeat to Leeds on Tuesday, Big Sam said: “When I listen to the news the variant virus transmits quicker than the original virus, we can only do the right thing which is have a circuit break.

“I am 66 years old and the last thing I want to do it catch Covid. I’m very concerned for myself and football in general. If that’s what needs to be done we need to do it.”

Solskjaer isn’t convinced a two-week break from action is such a good idea

But Solskjaer is concerned what a circuit break would do to an already-rammed schedule.

“It’s not something I’ve thought about a lot. I think our players have been really good in following protocols and rules,” Solskjaer said.

“That’s part of the job here, that we as clubs follow the protocols given. I can’t see the benefit in having a circuit break, whatever it’s going to be called.

“Because when are we going to play the games? We all know this year is so difficult, but I don’t think stopping the games is going to make a big, big change.”

The Premier League this week returned its highest number of positive tests this season. Between December 21 and 27, the League tested 1,479 players and club staff and 18 tested positive, eclipsing the previous highest number of cases – 16 in the week of November 9-15.

It is understood the Premier League is unaware of any talks over a break taking place. However, pressure is likely to grow after both Sheffield United and Fulham were affected by new outbreaks of the virus.

The Blades said they received a ‘number of positive coronavirus tests’, but their game at Burnley on Tuesday night went ahead as planned.

Sheffield United have not revealed whether it is players or staff who are affected.

There are fears that COVID-19 could cause the Premier League to be suspended again

They said in a statement: “Sheffield United can confirm the club recorded a number of positive coronavirus tests after the latest round of testing.

“Due to medical confidentiality the club will not be revealing the names of those who have been affected.

“The individuals who have tested positive have now entered into a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and Government guidelines.

“Everyone at Sheffield United would like to extend our best wishes to our colleagues and wish them a speedy recovery.”

It is also understood Fulham have recorded a number of positive tests and Wednesday’s London derby at Tottenham is dependent on the results of the players and staff at Craven Cottage who are yet to receive their results.

Manager Scott Parker has only just returned from self-isolation himself.


By: Oliver
Title: Premier League fixture ‘circuit breaker’ possible as clubs consider ‘two-week cooling off’ period and, but managers divided
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Published Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2020 09:04:06 +0000

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