Burnley’s home game against Watford has become the latest Premier League clash to be postponed under controversial circumstances, prompting Gary Neville to once again slam the top-flight chiefs.
Gary Neville has once again targeted the Premier League after Burnley’s home game against Watford was postponed.
The former Manchester United captain has said teams should be forced to play their matches unless they have a major Covid-19 outbreak.
But in recent weeks clubs have seen their postponement requests begrudgingly accepted by top-flight chiefs mainly on injury grounds, like Arsenal ahead of the canceled North London Derby.
Burnley became the latest, with Neville blasting through the Premier League after Tuesday’s six-point relegation call was overturned.
“33 players and staff tested positive for Covid out of 13,600 tests [in the top flight this week]. We don’t know the exact split between players and staff, but it’s clear that now we need to stop canceling matches,” the former England defender tweeted.
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“January 1 should have been the last date allowed for cancellations. Come on @premierleague @EFL.”
The Clarets said they reluctantly requested the game be canceled due to a high number of injuries and Covid-19 cases in the team.
Manager Sean Dyche has revealed only 10 first-team players trained on Monday, and Watford will now travel to Turf Moor at a later date.
Neville previously criticized the league after Arsenal’s bid was accepted, meaning they did not face rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday despite only testing positive for coronavirus.
“What started as postponements due to a pandemic has now turned into clubs not having their best squad,” the 46-year-old tweeted on Saturday.
“The Premier League must stop this now, draw a line in the sand and say all games go ahead unless you have an exceptional number of Covid cases. This is wrong.”
Spurs shared Neville’s view, issuing a statement in strong terms to express their displeasure.
“We are extremely surprised that this request has been approved,” Tottenham website read.
“We ourselves were disqualified from the European Conference League after a significant number of COVID cases forced us to reschedule a game and our request to move our game to Leicester was not approved – only for that it would then be postponed when Leicester applied.
“The original intent of the guidelines was to address player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads which, combined with injuries, would prevent the club from fielding a squad.
“We don’t believe the intent was to address player availability unrelated to COVID. We can now see the unintended consequences of this rule.
“It is important to have clarity and consistency on the application of the rule. Once again, fans have seen their plans interrupted at unacceptable times.
“We will once again be sending food deliveries to local food banks to avoid unacceptable waste. We are sincerely sorry to our fans – some of whom will have traveled great distances.”