Premier League club-by-club: how are they dealing with coronavirus? | Football


The club has been in lockdown since Thursday night, when their head coach, Mikel Arteta, received a positive test result for coronavirus. Around 100 employees, including the first-team squad and coaching staff, are self-isolating while the London Colney and Hale End training centres have been closed. No further positive tests have been disclosed but staff throughout other areas are working from home. Training is set to resume on 24 March but that depends heavily on what is a rapidly developing situation. In the meantime players have been given individual training programmes; some have their own gyms at home but equipment has been sent to those who need it. Arsenal’s executive team are holding meetings every morning; the club is actively involved in the discussions surrounding the season’s future but no conclusions have yet been drawn. Nick Ames

Aston Villa

No Villa players have suffered any symptoms and the squad trained as normal on Monday, and other essential “performance-related” staff also worked as usual. The rest of the club’s staff were allowed to work from home or given time off. The club say people’s health is paramount and they have not yet formulated a firm view as to what should happen if the season is not able to resume on 3 April. Pepe Reina, on loan at Villa from Milan, said in an interview in Spain that the season should have been suspended sooner. “It was crazy to keep playing,” the keeper was quoted as telling Marca, adding: “The leagues should only start again when everything calms down … and the most logical thing is to postpone Euro 2020 to next year.” Paul Doyle


The goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four first-team staff remain in self-isolation after reporting symptoms, but none have been formally tested for Covid-19 as per government guidelines. Players are due to resume training for their fixture against Newcastle on 4 April next Monday. Until then, players are preparing remotely after being given tailor-made training programmes, while injured players such as Chris Mepham and Charlie Daniels have been permitted to report for treatment on a staggered basis. Eddie Howe met with club doctor Craig Roberts on Friday morning and, while there are no firm travel restrictions, the Bournemouth manager has advised his players to act sensibly and in line with government guidance. The club’s chief executive, Neill Blake, is set to represent the club at the league’s emergency meeting on Thursday. Ben Fisher

Artur Boruc is in self-isolation after reporting coronavirus-like symptoms.

Artur Boruc is in self-isolation after reporting coronavirus-like symptoms. Photograph: Robin Jones/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images


Graham Potter’s squad are continuing to train despite the hiatus ,and the fact that five members of the club’s staff entered self-isolation last week as a precaution. “There is a contingency plan in place,” said Paul Barber, the club’s chief executive and deputy chairman who caused some controversy over the weekend when he admitted he could be in favour of Leeds and West Brom joining a 22-team top-flight next season. “I think that is a possible option,” he said on Football Focus. “To leave the 20 teams in the Premier League as it is would obviously help us and would help others, but to bring the top two teams from the Championship up, give us a larger league for next season … it has some merit. We are in an unprecedented time and we may need an unprecedented solution for this particular problem.” Ed Aarons


All academy football from under-16s down has been stopped until further notice but otherwise it is business as usual. Sean Dyche and his players are still in training at Barnfield, office and admin staff are reporting for work and corporate events are still being held at Turf Moor. There has been increased screening at the training ground and stadium as the club follows government and Premier League advice on the pandemic. The club will accept any decision the authorities take on the future of the Premier League season, but is understood to be in favour of the campaign being completed. Andy Hunter


Chelsea are in lockdown, their players and coaching staff in self-isolation and part of their training ground closed, after Callum Hudson-Odoi’s positive test for the virus last week. So, in that context, it was shocking to see pictures of Mason Mount on Sunday having a kick-around with friends at a football centre in north London. For Chelsea, exasperation does not cover it and the club have reminded all of their players of why it is so important to follow government advice. Hudson-Odoi’s test result came back on Thursday night but he had shown signs of a cold from the beginning of last week and had stayed away from the training ground since then. He was feeling fine by Wednesday night, his symptoms having been mild. Chelsea’s players are scheduled to return to training on Sunday but, as with everything, it is subject to change at a moment’s notice. David Hytner

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson gives an interview for BBC Sport.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson may be affected by government guidelines for people aged over 70. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Crystal Palace

The decision to close the first team and academy training grounds in Beckenham on Monday for a week was taken as a precautionary measure, and players have been given individual fitness plans to carry out at home until further notice. Given proposals that the government could soon ask all people over the age of 70 to self-isolate, Palace will have concerns over 72-year-old Roy Hodgson, the Premier League’s oldest manager. Co-chairman Steve Parish offered a tongue-in-cheek response after being asked how the Premier League should finish off the season. “Finally a sensible solution,” he tweeted after another user suggested basing the final standings on the form table for the past three matches. That would give Palace a first league title and leave Liverpool down in sixth place. EA


All staff, players and coaching team included, have been advised to stay away from all club sites until further notice. The decision was taken after an unnamed player reported a high temperature on Thursday. The player’s condition has improved but he will remain in self-isolation for a total of seven days. Others are following individual training programmes at home and have been advised to stay away from public places unless absolutely necessary. As things stand, it will be 22 March before the first team squad resume training at Finch Farm. The club’s stated position on the league season is as follows: “Everton is committed to working alongside the Premier League – and all of its clubs – to make a collective decision in the best interests of the wellbeing of our country. The first priority must always be public health as we battle the coronavirus pandemic.” AH

Leicester City

No other players have reported feeling unwell after three went into seven days of self-isolation with very mild flu-like symptoms. The whole squad have been given several days off since the league was put on hold and are not scheduled to resume training before Thursday’s meeting, where plans for the rest of the season may become clearer. The club, who sit third in the table and are on course for Champions League qualification, say they must operate as if their match at Everton will go ahead on 6 April and do not believe there is any need yet to take a public stance on what should happen if that is not possible. PD


In line with Jürgen Klopp’s statement on Friday that health comes before football, and given the variables at play with the pandemic, the league leaders maintain it is inappropriate to adopt a public position on the future of the season at this time. Club officials will make representations to the various federations and governing bodies when talks take place, and sporting integrity will be central to Liverpool’s position. In the meantime, players will follow individual training programmes at home having been advised to stay away from Melwood since Friday. They are due to return this month providing the season does resume from 3 April. Injured players are allowed access to Melwood but their rehabilitation schedules are being restricted and staggered to minimise contact. All players have been advised not to travel abroad. AH

Manchester City

City players have been training at home over the weekend with Gabriel Jesus, Nicolás Otamendi, Oleksandr Zinchenko, João Cancelo and David Silva posting images on Instagram of themselves working out. Although Benjamin Mendy self-isolated after fears his father may have the coronavirus, it is understood he has been cleared. Cancelo also published a picture of himself and a baby with the legend: “The best quarantine.” Whether this is a clue regarding the state of Pep Guardiola’s squad is unclear; the club are remaining tight-lipped regarding whether they will be training together as usual. Jamie Jackson

Manchester United

The players have been given a few days off by Ole Gunnar Solskjær after Thursday’s 5-0 win at Lask and are due back on Tuesday to continue training as normal at the club’s Carrington base. This is the plan for the foreseeable future unless government advice changes. A number of precautions are in place to decrease the potential for the disease being caught across the club. A statement said: “[There are] strengthened hygiene procedures and additional limits on access to our Aon Training Complex, where visitors will be asked to complete questionnaires about their recent travel and potential exposure to coronavirus.” JJ

Manchester United players at their training centre.

External visitors to Manchester United’s training centre have been asked to give details of their recent travel. Photograph: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters

Newcastle United

The club have closed their training ground to virtually everyone for two weeks, although injured players are expected to attend for physiotherapy. The club’s nearby academy has also been shut for a fortnight. That training ground has been regularly deep-sprayed since Christmas, when a few players and coaches developed a different virus, and that will continue. No Newcastle player or staff member has the virus or is isolating and every player has a personal training programme to follow at home. Steve Bruce is open-minded about players travelling abroad during their two-week break but wants any case to be assessed individually with the club doctor. The plan is for training to resume on Monday week. Bruce believes the season should be completed if possible but suspects it could be six or eight weeks before it restarts. Newcastle had been preparing for what they regarded as an inevitable shutdown for the past four weeks and individual training player programmes were ready. Louise Taylor

Norwich City

Norwich’s players have been given time off, which is largely being spent with their families. Injured players are continuing their rehabilitation programmes but the club’s stance is to assess the situation as time goes on, with training recommencing accordingly if the season does in fact restart on 4 April. No positive tests for coronavirus or cases of self-isolation have been disclosed. The club’s season is on a knife-edge given Norwich’s position at the foot of the Premier League but with a number of winnable games left. No judgment has been made, publicly or in private, about how they feel it should proceed. NA

Sheffield United

The Blades have not trained since last week and are keeping their plans for this week dynamic. “It’s a fluid situation,” said one official on Monday afternoon, explaining he was not sure when training would resume. “The priority is to keep everyone safe so we are keeping things under constant review.” The club has suspended indefinitely all non-essential business and closed all offices at Bramall Lane at least until next week. PD

Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhüttl at West Ham

Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhüttl has said his club will do ‘everything possible’ to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Photograph: Toyin Oshodi/ProSports/Shutterstock


All players reported to training on Monday morning as expected but the club has tightened restrictions at their Staplewood training campus and at St Mary’s. A deep clean has been conducted at both the training ground and the stadium sites. Staff that work elsewhere across the club, such as foundation projects and development centres, are being managed on a case-by-case basis, with necessary precautions taken. Customer-facing areas of the club such as the ticket office and stadium store are closed until further notice. No players have reported symptoms but former player Manolo Gabbiadini, now of Sampdoria, tested positive for Covid-19 last week. “We have to do everything possible to make sure that the virus is not spreading so quickly,” said Ralph Hasenhüttl on Thursday. “This is the goal we all have.” BF


Tottenham have seen no symptoms of the virus among their players and they trained as normal on Monday, with Son Heung-min back among their number after a 14-day period of self-isolation. The winger had returned to his native South Korea – which has been badly affected by Covid-19 – to undergo surgery on a fractured forearm. José Mourinho and his players will continue to work as usual, although they will now be able to factor in a few days off because of the postponed matches. The club’s training base in Enfield is fully operational and the hierarchy’s view is that they want to find a way to complete the season. DH


Watford’s players last trained on Friday and are due to return on Wednesday after a short break. No decisions have been taken about a long-term training regime, which is obviously dependent on the overall situation and the health of the players, the coaching staff and their families. All players and coaches are understood to be in good health currently – three tested negative for coronavirus last week – though some administrative staff are off work as a precaution. It is felt that a decision regarding the fate of this season would be useful and allow the necessary preparation to begin but that it is unlikely the requisite 14 league clubs will agree on any one outcome this week. Simon Burnton

West Ham’s home game with Wolves was part of the Premier League weekend programme called off on Friday.

West Ham’s home game with Wolves was part of the Premier League weekend programme called off on Friday. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA

West Ham

Karren Brady, West Ham’s vice-chair, says the “only fair and reasonable thing to do is declare the whole season null and void.” The club’s manager, David Moyes, and his assistants were forced to self-isolate for seven days after coming into contact with Mikel Arteta, who has tested positive for the virus, but they did not display any symptoms and neither have any of the players. West Ham have overseen a “deep clean” of their stadium and all training facilities, with the players due back in later this week. All training will be in the open air, with input from the medical team. DH


No Wolves player has reported any symptoms that would require isolation or treatment, and Nuno Espírito Santo and his team continue to train as normal at Compton Park. But the rest of the club has practically been placed into lockdown, with Molineux closed at least until 4 April, all administrative staff ordered to work from home and the club shop, ticket office and conference facilities shut. The chairman, Jeff Shi, posted a message on the club’s website urging fans not to “underestimate” the virus, explaining that his discussions with family and colleagues in China “afford me an acute awareness of the virus’s threat and impact”. PD

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