Premier League: Third Brighton & Hove Albion player tests positive for COVID-19
- Premier League club Brighton have confirmed that an unnamed player has tested positive for the virus
- The 20 clubs are set to meet on Monday and will take a vote later in the month on the future of the 2019/20 season
A third player from Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. This unnamed player joins two other players from the Seagulls' squad to have tested positive.
The two others have recovered since and the training facilities have been opened for players to train by themselves in isolation to comply with the social distancing guidelines laid down by the authorities.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said,
“Unfortunately we have had a third player test positive just yesterday. Despite all the measures we have all been taking over the last few weeks, when the players haven’t been involved in taking any significant training at all, we have still suffered another player testing positive for the virus.”
On the potential resumption of the Premier League season, Barber remarked,
“There are concerns and I think it is normal for all clubs to have those concerns. We want to make sure we do all that we can [so] the protocols that are put into place are safe and secure and mitigate the risk.”
Premier League clubs to take a vote
This news comes a day before the meeting between all Premier League clubs to discuss the restart plans. Brighton are one of a handful of Premier League clubs that have strongly opposed the plan proposed by Project Restart. The clubs will take a vote later in May to decide the future of the currently-suspended season.
It has been reported that at least 14 out of the 20 Premier League clubs will have to vote in favour of the proposed plans for them to be implemented. Clubs are also waiting for the government's official guidelines about ground-safety licensing and bio-safety protocols at potential events. These guidelines are expected in the latter part of the coming week.
Given that Premier League clubs such as Aston Villa, Watford and Brighton have made their opposing stand clear to Project Restart's plans, the Seagulls have been accused of doing so for their benefit and interest.
Addressing those claims, Barber said,
“There is as much self-interest at the top as there is at the bottom, there is as much self-interest in the middle as there is at the bottom. Everyone has different objectives for the season and we are all looking to play out the season, if it is safe to do so.”
The Brighton chief executive continued,
“We really do want to play and we want to make sure the competition stays as fair as it can be despite these exceptional circumstances that we are facing.”
This comes a day after Watford chairman Scott Duxbury penned his thoughts on the proposed plans. Questions have been raised on the fairness of the Premier League's plans to play the matches at neutral venues behind closed doors.
The Englishman questioned the Premier League's lack of 'sporting integrity' and claimed that there is no altruism in the top-flight.
“There is no altruism in the Premier League. There are 20 different vested interests, which sometimes align but more often than not work purely to protect each individual club.”