Premier League clubs fear another shutdown after Brentford vs Man Utd postponed

Wolves are the only top-flight club set to meet Boris Johnson’s target of boosting all over-18s by the end of the month (Picture: Getty)

Premier League clubs are fearing the season could be suspended due the rapid spread of Omicron, allied with the lack of progress that has been made in vaccinating players.

A total of 42 confirmed cases were confirmed on Monday evening – the most recorded in a single week- with five clubs affected by outbreaks.

Tottenham’s game against Brighton, scheduled to take place last Sunday, was postponed, while Manchester United’s fixture at Brentford, due to take place this evening, has been called off.

Manchester United’s game against Brentford has been called off (Picture Getty)

The Daily Mail reports that many players who want to receive a booster jab, which offers protection against the new variant, have been left frustrated in their attempts to get vaccinated.

Wolves are said to be the only club so far to have met Boris Johnson’s target of having all over-18s boosted by the end of the month, although Leeds and Brentford are on course to meet that requirement.

The Premier League remain adamant that with the current testing procedures and protocol in place, a pause in proceedings, like the one which interrupted the 2019/20 season, won’t be neccessary.

Six games were postponed last winter without the need for a shutdown, but several clubs are said to hold concerns that further cancellations would severely impact the integrity of the competition, particularly given the number of games that are slated to take place over the coming weeks.

Steven Gerrard will consider the vaccine status of potential signings during the January transfer window (Picture: Getty)

Any delay would cause a huge pile-up, while the option of extending the current season into the summer is unlikely to be open to the Premier League due to the scheduling of a first ever winter World Cup, due to take place in Qatar in November of next year.

Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, whose Manchester City side take on Leeds this evening, added his name to a growing list of managers who have urged players to get jabbed.

‘Absolutely, the doctors suggest they have to do it,’ Guardiola told reporters on Monday when asked about players getting the booster shots.

‘We speak with the players every day to say be careful. Stay healthy, wear masks, social distance.

‘It’s Christmas, the tendency is to party and go out. But the virus is still here. The virus doesn’t allow you to suffer much, but cases rise day by day, so just be careful.’

And Aston Villa manager, Steven Gerrard, went a step further by suggesting he will look at the vaccine status of potential signings ahead of the January transfer window as he looks to add to the squad he inherited from Dean Smith.

He said: ‘I don’t think it’s right for me to comment on if I would or wouldn’t sign a player in that situation. But it would certainly come into conversations.’

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