Report: Premier League Clubs Pushing to Shut Down Season Until January amid COVID-19

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2021

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: The official Nike Premier League match ball before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leeds United at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

Multiple English Premier League clubs are reportedly in favor of pausing the season for three weeks amid rising COVID-19 cases.

According to ESPN's Rob Dawson, "an increasing number" of clubs believe postponing matches for the remainder of 2021 would be the best way to quell the recent surge in positive COVID-19 tests brought on, in part, by the Omicron variant.

The proposal would see four rounds of EPL matches postponed and play resume on Jan. 7 for the third round of the FA Cup.

The EPL has yet to make a decision regarding potential postponements.

Dawson noted that multiple clubs' players have been dealing with COVID-19 recently, resulting in a handful of postponements.

Manchester United only had nine players from its first-team squad available for Tuesday's match against Brentford, per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, resulting in the postponement of that and Saturday's game against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Thursday's match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur and Tuesday's Burnley vs. Watford tilt were also postponed.

Major American sports leagues are dealing with the same problems.

Multiple NHL and NBA games have been called off, and while no postponements have been made in the NFL yet, teams such as the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases.

As of now, plans remain in place for EPL matches to occur on Dec. 16, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, as well as Jan. 1, 2 and 3.

Two matches are scheduled for Thursday, including Chelsea vs. Everton, despite the former having three players out following positive COVID-19 tests.