Newcastle United Covid-19 cases 'well into double figures' – and West Bromwich Albion game in doubt
Newcastle United’s game against West Bromwich Albion is in serious doubt – with the number of cases at the club said to be “well into double figures”.
Last week’s fixture against Aston Villa at Villa Park was postponed amid a Covid-19 outbreak at the training ground.
The training ground has been closed since early last week, but it is hoped that the facility can be reopened early this week ahead of Saturday’s Premier League home game against West Brom.
However, the Daily Telegraph report that “several more players have since returned positive tests”.
The Gazette understands that the club’s players – who have been given home fitness programmes – are being tested again today ahead of a hoped-for return to training tomorrow.
Newcastle, liaising with Public Health England, Newcastle City Council, have made no comment since the Villa game was postponed.
A statement issued on December 1 read: “While the club has continued to ensure strict adherence to protocols, and despite previously experiencing only a very small number of isolated Covid-19 cases, positive test results have risen sharply in recent days.
“Accordingly, the club is now is working with Public Health England North East, local health authorities and the Premier League in line with Covid-19 protocols to identify the source of the outbreak and to ensure the risk of further transmission continues to be minimised.
“The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted Covid-19 and asks that their privacy is respected."
Meanwhile, West Brom manager Slaven Bilic spoke about the fixture at the weekend.
Asked if the United game would go ahead, West Brom manager Bilic said: “We don’t know yet. The health and security of the staff and everybody who is involved – referees, everybody – comes first.
“ Aston Villa against Newcastle is postponed,” said Bilic. “For our game, we don’t know. That’ll be down to the Premier League, and it’s down to the situation there. It’s even above the Premier League – it’s down to the medical people.