Newcastle’s match at Aston Villa becomes first Premier League game POSTPONED due to a local Covid-19 outbreak, with fears that MORE players have the virus after five positive tests
- There has been a coronavirus outbreak within the Newcastle United squad
- Their game against Aston Villa on Friday evening has since been called off
- It is thought going to Villa Park could increase Newcastle’s number of infections
- The Magpies cancelled training and have closed the club’s Benton headquarters
Sportsmail understands the Magpies have severe concerns that the spread of the virus within their first-team squad will become worse should they travel to and from Birmingham and stay overnight.
Sportsmail has been told that the number of infected individuals is ‘more severe’ than the five that were reported on Monday – forcing the closure of the club’s training ground – and could yet rise.
Newcastle’s Premier League game against Aston Villa is at major risk of being postponed
Newcastle were unable to train on Monday after a coronavirus outbreak in their camp
The concern they have is that some individuals who have tested negative this week could travel with the group only to later test positive, as is suspected was the case during last weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace.
Managing director Lee Charnley has sought guidance on the Premier League requirements for postponement and the club must present all of its evidence at the point of application.
The Premier League could reject the request if they discover that one or more of the players became infected because they or the club failed to follow the League’s Covid protocols.
But sources say the game is now almost certain to be postponed given the immediate risk of players, staff and their families contracting Covid-19.
There are fears that going to Villa Park will increase the amount of infections in the squad
The Premier League say each request will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
However, there is no right to appeal if the League insist the fixture must be completed.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s players have been told to stay away from the training ground and have not trained since last week.
Not all players and staff are self-isolating – only those who have tested positive or have been deemed close contacts – and they have been warned not to discuss the matter between themselves.
Sportsmail broke the news on Monday evening that Friday’s trip to Villa was in doubt after a planned training session earlier that day was scrapped in light of the outbreak.
Newcastle are not commenting on the situation but have confirmed that the training ground remains closed.