How Newcastle United could be 'rewarded' by the Premier League
The Premier League could “reward” clubs whose Covid-19 vaccination rates are high.
Senior officials are concerned by the lack of vaccinations with “only seven clubs' squads are more than 50 per cent fully vaccinated”.
As a way of enticing clubs and players into getting their Covid-19 jabs, the EPL is considering potential rewards.
As reported by the Daily Mail, an EPL document read: "According to the data we have, only seven clubs' squads are more than 50 per cent fully vaccinated, so we have a way to go.
'We are considering if and how best we can 'reward' those squads/players who are most Covid-compliant and who have opted to be vaccinated.
"It is increasingly clear that full vaccination will be the key criteria for Government and health authorities, in terms of international travel and potential Covid certification at large scale events.”
The document also adds that protocols at stadiums and training grounds will stay in place until the end of the year but could be relaxed if vaccination rates among playing squads increase.
Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce, speaking in August, revealed there are “a lot of” his players who haven’t had their vaccine.
This came after goalkeeper Karl Darlow was hospitalised with Covid-19, forcing him to miss the whole of pre-season and the start of the Premier League campaign.
He said: “It’s fair to say we’ve got a lot of players who’ve not had the jab.
“Yeah there are (different) opinions, just like you have among your mates. If you’ve got a group of 20 together then you’re not all going to have the same opinion.
"Look, I’ve always said it’s their prerogative but you can only go by the advice which all of us Premier League managers were given a week or so ago.
“Half of the meeting was surrounding Covid and how vital it is that people are jabbed and the statistics to go with that are a quarter of the people in hospital at the moment are under the age of 30 – simply because they’re not having the jab.
“We’ve witnessed it when we’ve had two or three of our players really, really sick. I keep mentioning Karl Darlow because he wants it out there.
“Karl, in particular, was struck down with it where he didn’t really have any symptoms. Within 24-48 hours, he’s in hospital and the severity of it was pretty evident.
“When you see young, fit and arguably our best professional struck down with it then this has no boundaries.
“My advice to all the people watching in, especially the young generation who maybe think it isn’t going to affect them, unfortunately it is.”
He added: “There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there.
“I’m going on the opinion which I’ve now been given from the top, top medical people of this country.
“Certainly with the doctors we’ve had, we’ve been one of the lucky ones really in terms of how the Premier League have protected the players, staff and everybody at the training ground.
“It’s still out there and I’d reiterate that it is vitally important that people get jabbed, especially the young people.”