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Opinion

Key Premier League relegation clash called off less than 3 hours before kick-off – Shameful

1 month ago
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The Premier League are an utter joke.

Newcastle United fans were set to keep a keen eye on the Burnley v Watford match tonight, a key fixture affecting the relegation fight.

Yet less than three hours before the game was due to kick-off, the match has been postponed by the Premier League.

The game was scheduled to kick-off at 7.30pm tonight and yet it was after 5pm when the Premier League made their official announcement see below). So it was actually less than two and a half hours before kick-off.

What an absolutely disgraceful way to treat the fans of both clubs, particularly those Watford supporters travelling, or indeed fans of either club who were making a significant journey to the game.

The reason is because of rising Covid cases, with the Premier League stating that Watford have ‘an insufficient number of first team players available to fulfil the match.’

So, they only discovered this at 5pm did they???

Honestly, the contempt the Premier League have shown for the fans is appalling. At the very least, from Premier League central funds they should refund every fan the cost of their ticket, including season ticket holders, so that in effect they will be watching it for free when rearranged.

Earlier today it was reported that a number of Premier League clubs had attempted to get their midweek matches called off due to Covid cases, Leicester making public they were one of those clubs, though all these requests said to have been turned down.

If I had to have a guess…you would think very likely that Watford were one of those clubs to put in a request and that this has been argued all day between the Hornets and the Premier League, leading very belatedly to this very very very late postponement.

Somebody has to be held accountable for this shambles.

We all understand the problems that Covid cases are causing but there surely has to be a cut-off point when you say, if any game is going to be postponed, you have to give a certain amount of notice to fans. That amount of notice being significantly longer than two and a half hours.

This week has also seen many fans claim that the decisions on whether or not to call off matches has pointed yet again to an imbalance of power at different clubs. Manchester United having their game called off last night at Brentford, yet the (non-affected) players were back at the training ground today. Exactly how many positive cases did Man Utd have in their very strong squad? Compared to say Leicester who are rumoured to have as many as nine players missing due to Covid and other illness / injury.

Premier League official announcement:

‘It is with regret the Premier League Board has postponed Burnley’s home fixture against Watford, due to be played this evening (Wednesday 15 December) at 19:30 GMT.

The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak within Watford’s squad. As a result, the club has an insufficient number of First Team players available to fulfil the match.

The Premier League understands this decision will disappoint and frustrate fans who were due to attend this evening’s game and apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused at such short notice.

In considering any application to postpone, the Board considers a range of sporting and medical factors. Each decision is taken on a case-by-case basis with everyone’s health of utmost importance.

In light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced Emergency Measures. These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time.’

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