Eddie Howe has called for clarity from the Premier League amid the ongoing COVID crisis that is tearing through the festive fixture list, saying it’s not right if we have 50% of games off and 50% of games on every weekend.
Several top-flight clubs are suffering from outbreaks of the disease, with many games already falling victim to the situation.
A further five games this weekend: Man Utd v Brighton, Watford v Crystal Palace, Southampton v Brentford, West Ham v Norwich and Everton v Leicester have all been postponed, as calls for a break in the season ramp up.
The Christmas period is famously one of the most lucrative for Premier League teams, with fixtures coming thick and fast until the FA Cup starts in the first week of January.
Now, our own manager has called on a “decision to be made” by league chiefs to ensure the integrity of the competition.
This is what Howe said after our 3-1 defeat to Liverpool:
“I think the key thing is we don’t want half the games played and half not.
“I think the league loses something if it becomes disjointed in terms of the number of games played.
“I think a decision needs to be made for the benefit of the league and to make sure there’s integrity through the competition.
“That would be my view on it. I don’t think we can have half the games played and half the games not played.
“When you start losing players to Covid, the worry for me is that the competition becomes slightly unfair.
“I don’t think anyone wants to see that. People want to see a fair league. They don’t want to see disparity in games, players missing.
“I know we all want the programme to continue, I’m desperate to continue the programme myself, but I do think the welfare of the players and supporters has to come first.
“The people in charge of the Premier League will do that. It’s not an easy decision to make.
“I’m well aware how complex everything is. We’ll follow the guidelines we’ve been given.
“Our Covid situation; I believe we have a clean bill of health.
“But obviously with what is happening around the country, it is worrying times.“
Time for a break over the festive period before things go from bad to worse?