Premier League clubs are reportedly left stunned by an ‘absolutely crazy’ U-turn decision just three weeks before season starts.
The league organisation are said to be on a collision course with some of its club members after making a controversial call over dressing rooms.
Teams had been thought that it would be back to business as usual when the campaign gets underway from the 14th of August, with temporary, socially-distanced facilities expected to have been a thing of the past and original home and away dressing rooms back in use.
However, sources have disclosed details stating that the top flight has now told its clubs that dressing rooms need to again be socially-distanced, which has left many contemplating a return to banqueting suites, bars and cabins on car parks, places we’ve seen players walk in and out of during televised matches over the pandemic.
With fans set to be be back in the stands with social distancing not happening, there are big concerns that clubs face a logistical nightmare with some known to be in uproar over the move.
Some have already told the league that they have no intention of going back to last year’s arrangements, while others have pointed out it would be ‘impossible’ to do so given the return of fans.
Some are even understood to have started taking down their temporary lockdown facilities and have been left stunned by the change of position.
‘It’s absolutely crazy,’ said one official. ‘There was a call between the league and all the facilities guys last week and this was not mentioned.
‘Weeks ago we were told that everything would be back to normal. Some clubs have started taking down the facilities they used last season and now they’re being told this? It isn’t fair and it doesn’t make any sense.’
Many teams in older stadiums had to make new arrangements last season, with Manchester United and Everton creating temporary facilities for visitors outside their grounds.
Aston Villa had no choice but give the away teams their media room and at Leeds, the visiting opposition used a bar area and then came down steps in the stadium to the pitch. Chelsea put their opponents in a nearby leisure centre.
With the return of supporters, a return to such set-ups will be rather challenging, and now Sportsmail understands that clubs are preparing letters to the Premier League, in which they reject the proposal.
Premier League sources say they are continuing to go through the protocols and that no decisions have been made, yet this latest reported decision has caused anger.
They add that work is ongoing an say they are working to find solutions with clubs with safety a priority at a time when numbers of cases are still high.
In June, the Premier League said that it would remain agile to the changing environment and take emergency measures if necessary.
Fans reacted with Premier League clubs stunned by the ‘absolutely crazy’ U-turn decision…
@hastie7hastie: No end to this madness
@Davidlostboy1: This the same PL that want vaccine passports to attend games?
@ArnoRice: What is the Point of Vaccines & #VaccinePassports? If Masks & Social Distancing are still required, what is the POINT of vaccines
Laocoön: Politicians don’t do much mask wearing or distancing – remember the G7 summit, the Euros final, Parliament… hypocrites
axrysol123: Most of them have all been on holiday together!!
SIXEuropeanCups: So you can have 60,000 in the ground but not 20 in a changing room! How ridiculous.
Spike: Remember to keep themselves socially distanced from themselves and the opposition on the field of play as well or the dressing room distancing will be all for nothing…… should make for a laughable game.
Dr John Bercow: And the circus continues..
Chica T: What happens when they get on the pitch?
Westham82: So the players can go for a night out together and sit together but cant in the changing rooms what aload of rubbish
Vin: They’ll just have to get changed at home.
lwr1959: Couldn’t run a bath
Cthulhu: Common sense gone out the window again
Allensroy: Why, ffs
SBisased: This is getting too stupid now, tell the clubs what is going on and stick with it
PalFC: Yet another fuck up from those in charge at the Premier League
Iakse: Got to feel for these clubs, told everything would be alright, go ahead, green light for everything ready for the new league season to begin then told this, stop pissing about