Enhanced COVID-19 guidelines have been introduced across the English leagues in an attempt to avoid further fixture postponements.
Coronavirus outbreaks have occurred at a whole host of clubs in recent months in both the men’s and women’s game, leading to a number of matches being rescheduled.
Aston Villa are one of the more high profile sides who are currently being impacted by an outbreak of the disease, with the Premier League recently announcing their home game against Everton on Sunday has been postponed.
In a bid to negate the need for further disruptions, the FA, EFL, Premier League and Barclays Women’s Super League have released a joint statement confirming the introduction of enhanced COVID-19 measures, while the need to stick to the guidelines has also been reinforced.
The EFL chief executive Trevor Birch conceded this week that he and the governing bodies appreciate the difficulties players endure in having to stick to the protocols, though he’s urged them to follow the rules so they can avoid the need to postpone the season once again.
“We’ve been very strong in enforcing, or telling clubs to enforce, the protocols,” he said on the Official EFL Podcast. “That’s what will keep people safe. We’ve got a big role to play in terms of adhering to those protocols.
“The last thing we want is a curtailment. They’re all suffering enough at the moment financially, but another closure for any period which then creates a whole new raft of financial issues for the clubs in terms of potentially broken broadcast contracts, that’s the sword that’s hanging over us.
“It’s a tough sell to the players because I think we all have sympathy; we’ve all played the game and know what the emotions are when you are on the pitch.
“All we can say is that we are in unprecedented times, we do need to try to restrict those to the bare minimum and it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to live by these rules. For the greater good of the game, we all have to comply. That’s the message.”