Manchester United the contemporary game to be called off
Manchester United’s clash with Brighton on Saturday lunchtime has become the trendy casualty as Premier League games continue to be affected by COVID up and down the country.
It joins two Tottenham clashes, Watford’s game in opposition to Burnley and the Red Devils’ previous scheduled game, against Brentford, in having to be postponed.
In a statement, Manchester United revealed:
Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, scheduled for Saturday 18 December at 12:30 GMT, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.
The fitness of players and staff is our priority. Given the number of players and assist staff having to isolate due to COVID-19, the club had no option other than to request the suit be rearranged. The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone based on guidance from clinical advisors.
The Premier League have confirmed that Saturday’s fixture with Brighton has been postponed.#MUFC | #MUNBHA
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 16, 2021
We will also suspend football coaching operations at the Carrington Training Complex for a short period to help reduce threat of further transmission.
We regret any disappointment and inconvenience caused to fans by means of the postponement.
Can the Premier League continue?
Amid such high numbers of postponements, and in the interest of both player and fan safety, must the Premier League be suspended?
At present, it seems unlikely, given the stance taken by the Premier League on Twitter, who said:
“It is the League’s intention to continue its current fixture time table where safely possible”
Manchester United’s fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend has been postponed by the #PL Board today
It is the League’s intention to continue its cutting-edge fixture schedule where safely possible
Full statement: https://t.co/47IkXOXx8T pic.twitter.com/C9MDuiYaHU
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 16, 2021
However, as per Rob Dawson of ESPN:
“Premier League chiefs have been informed that with rising case numbers being fuelled by the omicron variant, there would be guide for suspending games until the weekend of 8-9 January, when FA Cup third-round ties are due to take place,” they write.
“Under the proposal, Premier League games would restart on 15 January.
“Officially, the Premier League is still thinking about postponements on a case-by-case basis. The Premier League did not immediately respond to a request for comment when requested about plans for a shutdown by ESPN.”
With such high numbers, could the Premier League be left with no choice?