Premier League clubs have been ordered to crack down on their Covidiots – or risk being punished themselves.
In a hard-hitting letter to all 20 top flight clubs, a stark warning has been issued that any repeat of the Coronavirus breaches from last weekend must be met with stiff sanctions.
It means players could now be suspended for breaking the rules by their clubs.
Mirror Sport understands the Premier League feels it does have the power to come down on clubs and that disciplinary action could be financial or even involve points deductions.
Each situation, however, will be treated on a case by case basis.
The letter read: “It is vital to ensure public, government and stakeholder confidence in the training and match day protocols that individual transgressions by relevant persons are properly investigated and sanctioned by clubs.
“Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the league individually against the relevant person where it is appropriate and/or against the club itself where the relevant person’s conduct constitutes a breach of the training protocols.”
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A string of Premier League stars flouted strict rules not to mix households to party over the festive period – making a mockery of the sacrifices the public are making.
They included Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy who staged a party on New Year’s Eve, Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic who met up to see in 2021 and Tottenham trio Spurs' Giovani Lo Celso, Erik Lamela and Sergio Reguilon.
All three met up with West Ham's Lanzini.
Are the new measures enforced by the Premier League strict enough to curb the spread of coronavirus across its clubs? Have your say in the comments.
Coronavirus cases are rising in the top flight as they are across the country, with 40 new positive results returned in the last round of testing.
In response, the Premier League has limited the number of guests in matchday directors' boxes to 10 per team and hammered home the need for substitutes to wear face masks while seated.
Social distancing will be enhanced as players and staff will now be transported across three separate coaches, with risk-assessed travel plans submitted to Premier League officials ahead of every game.
Top-flight compliance officers will also have the right to spot-check players and staff members' clinical passports at training grounds, while indoor meetings must be socially distanced and canteens can only be used the day before matches and on matchdays.
The Premier League will also open investigations into clubs which experience coronavirus outbreaks, saying: “[if there] is evidence of an outbreak within the club’s relevant persons, it may instigate an investigation to determine, where possible, the causes of the outbreak and to identify any mitigating actions that should be taken.”
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