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Gary Neville and Adrian Durham slams EFL clubs for postponing matches over Covid

Gary Neville and Adrian Durham slams EFL clubs for postponing matches over Covid as yet another round is mostly called off.

G Nev says there is ‘no way clubs can’t get teams out’ following a number of matches called off due to a rise in positive Covid cases.

For a growing number of clubs, it will be the third match that they have lost due to an outbreak in either their or the opposing team’s squad with some not playing a game since the end of November.

Now Sky Sports pundit, Gary Neville had his say earlier this afternoon as talkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham took to Twitter to suggest that games were being called off too easily and that more scrutiny was needed. He also suggested that points should be forfeited.

Neville was in full agreement: “Completely agree Adrian.

“No way these clubs can’t get a team out.

“We’ve seen in the PL when teams’ requests are rejected they end up playing near on full strength line-ups.

“Time for clubs to get on with it and trust their young players unless in exceptional circumstances.”


Swansea City v Luton Town – Wednesday December 29
West Brom v Preston – Thursday December 30
Birmingham City v Peterborough United – Wednesday December 29
Reading v Fulham
– Wednesday December 29
Sheffield United v Hull City – Wednesday December 29

League One
Charlton v Gillingham – Wednesday December 29
Burton Albion v Bolton Wanderers – Wednesday December 29
Milton Keynes Dons v Cheltenham Town – Wednesday December 29
Cambridge United v Doncaster Rovers – Thursday December 30
Wigan Athletic v Fleetwood Town – Wednesday December 29
Plymouth Argyle v Portsmouth – Wednesday December 29
Rotherham United v Lincoln City – Wednesday December 29
Plymouth Argyle v AFC Wimbledon – Saturday January 2
Sunderland v Fleetwood Town – Sunday January 2

League Two
Forest Green v Exeter City – Wednesday December 29
Leyton Orient v Newport County – Wednesday December 29
Walsall v Bradford City – Wednesday December 29
Salford City v Carlisle United Wednesday December 29
Scunthorpe United v Northampton Town – Wednesday December 29
Harrogate Town v Mansfield Town – Wednesday December 29
Crawley Town v Bristol Rovers – Wednesday December 29
Hartlepool United v Tranmere Rovers
– Wednesday December 29
Sutton United v Colchester United – Wednesday December 29
Rochdale v Port Vale – Wednesday December 29

Twitter users reacted as Gary Neville and Adrian Durham slams EFL clubs for postponing matches over Covid…

@JaiP72: When we got to Spurs on Boxing Day and Palace’s line up came out I was flabbergasted. They had every player available that played in their last game and decided on one change. Made a mug of their own travelling fans and the prem. Spurs had 20 cases when they were shutdown

@RobC_PVFC: It’s happening up and down the football league pyramid teams using the pandemic as an excuse. Most teams are using it as mini break buying time until the Jan window and giving their squad time to get over knocks. Here’s the thing, nobody can moan when there is a fixture backlog!

@lwrgwladys: I think the gladiators should be forced to entertain us, whether they are sick or not. They’re our playthings which we buy and they should obey us at all times.

@Fonzyy97: Blades have had the last three fixtures cancelled through no fault of our own, two were at home on sky that we’ll have lost out financially on, far too many teams are using it as an excuse to get injured players back, efl needs to introduce punishments for these teams

@scottm2306: Blackburns game at Hull got postponed at ridiculously short notice. The away fans had already arrived in Hull. I’d be pissed if I did the away trip and it got cancelled like that

@james31469529: How many young players get a break because of injuries. Cancellation of games destroys the integrity of the competition and is so open to abuse. Let the kids have a run out!

@colski11: Quite frankly if you have 14 fit players across first team and academy you should be playing. You cannot tell me teams such as United, Tottenham etc cannot field a team for a fixture. If you have to use the youth team to make up the numbers so be it.

@Klobo15: I’ve been saying this for weeks. Totally understand the argument of calling off games if player welfare is at risk, but big clubs arguing they dont have 14 players after years of hoarding academies with young players is ridiculous.

@LFCNHS: Imagine how the fringe and bench players must feel. The whole point of a squad is to use it, but one or two key players out and clubs start using covid as an excuse. Knowing authorities don’t want to be seen as telling clubs to ‘get on with it’ with it being a serious health risk

@Mickcee9: Need to sort something out ASAP 3,000 Blackburn fans in hull on Boxing Day when it was called off less than 2 hours before kick off… a lot of money wasted petrol train fares etc

@PAULREADY123: Palace requesting a postponement then putting out what is essentially a first 11 makes a mockery of the process. If there’s an actual outbreak and you’re risking contagion then fine, but if you’re not happy with the available squad then it’s no different to an injury crisis.

@Blakers3: It’s happening at all levels.Clubs are dictating to leagues instead of other way round and 80% of it is because they might not have their strongest player/players.If your club is run properly you should always be able to fulfill a fixture and have confidence in Res/Youth players

@gregors1986: Yep ridiculous. Supposedly teams can’t put out a side and yet I’ve seen very few debuts being given to youngsters. Palace made 1 change to their 11 against spurs but wanted the game called off. Soon they will be asking for postponements if the weather isn’t favourable!

@Magicman13: What’s the point in having a 25 man squad of clubs don’t want to play because 7-8 have covid. If you have 14 of your 25 available and can put players from the U23 team in the games should go ahead. If it doesn’t, need proof of all 12+ players positive test results

@NJCUK: It is absolutely being abused. Suprised anyone would believe that, in the morally corrupt world Of football, clubs wouldnt take advantage.

@Schmoo1408: 100% Gary… they spend millions on squads and academies, just get on with it. The season isn’t about a first XI – it should be about a whole football club! Any manager who moans, is 1) not managing his players well enough and 2) not managing his club well enough! #WussyManagers

@PeteVale: Spot on. Something has got to give, we’ve just had our 3rd consecutive game called off it’s ridiculous. Try tune into a game on the tv instead and it’s called off. What a joke this Christmas has been for football.

@_SteveDix: Need to clamp down on clubs using injuries to get games called off – should be COVID cases only. Replace injured players with U23’s like you would have to in any other season.

@ChrisHu45292304: Yep we’ve had 3 pull on us through no fault of our own. We’ve got our house in order but have lost momentum and wait for the EFL to sharpen its pencil. #eflnoidea

@lee_robbo84: Couldn’t agree more Adrian, Boro were docked 3 points for not fulfilling a fixture away at Blackburn back in 96-97! Cost us massively & ended up being relegated from the PL

@cfht1882: With so much money at stake, why aren’t the league demanding their own independent checks on supposedly positive club cases. Surely the threat of sanction for those that “cheat” will lessen the attempt of postponing?

@guvpaul1: Clubs having a few covid cases but loads of injuries are calling games off injuries shouldn’t come into it

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