• Daniel Perry

Calls for a circuit break in English football in order to battle rising coronavirus cases

The Coronavirus cases have been rising constantly in the UK and with another lockdown now in place, the discussion of a circuit breaker for top flight football has started.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce and West Brom manager Sam Allardyce have both suggested a circuit break may be needed, with Bruce saying it is “morally wrong” for games to continue.

Clubs across England have been hit by positive results more recently then before, notably Manchester City and Aston Villa who were forced to shut their training facilities and field youth players In their recent FA cup fixture.

In the English football league, 3,507 players and staff from clubs were tested and 112 came back with positive results. This again led to match postponements and coaches having to field weaker teams which affects results.

On top of this there have been players not following the rules the way they should be, for example Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso, Erik Lamela, Sergio Reguilon and West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini all met with friends for a Christmas party. This resulted in lo Celso and Lamela both testing positive for COVID-19 three days later.

Premier League officials have said that the idea of a circuit break has not even been discussed by anyone, however they have changed the rules slightly saying that handshakes, hugging and shirt swapping should stop.

One of the main reasons why there won’t be a break in English football is down to financial reasons. A lot of clubs struggled with finances when the Premier League first took a break in the first lockdown last season. In August, Arsenal announced that they had to lay off 55 staff due to the impact the coronavirus had on their finances.

There is also the problem of game congestion in order to get the

League finished in time. Jose Mourinho spoke on the issue as his team are still in all four competitions this season.

“It is impossible for a club to have three matches postponed, especially if that club plays in Europe,” he said.

Tottenham have already had their fixtures against Fulham and Aston Villa postponed and were given a bye in the Carabao cup second round after Leyton Orient couldn’t play. They are one of six English clubs playing in European competitions and face higher fixture congestion.

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