The Covid-19 rules in general are about as clear as mud, I think we can all agree on that.
And by the sound of things, the Premier League Covid rules and regulations aren’t that much better.
Throughout this season we have had games off with minimum fuss. If clubs have Covid cases then they call their game off and re-arrange.
Until recently it wasn’t much of an issue in the Premier League with only one Newcastle United game postponed.
But with virus levels rising, it was inevitable we would see more postponements at the top level.
No one can deny they need to be off. Anything we can do to stop the spread but keep football going has to be done.
That isn’t the argument.
The argument is the way the FA Cup has muddied the waters even more. The FA seem to have come out with clear, strict guidelines on the FA Cup.
If you fail to raise a team then you’re out. If you have 14 players at your disposal and you refuse to play, then you’re out of the cup.
To me, and probably many others that is sort of fair.
You’ll be at a disadvantage being forced to put out your second string or youth team.
But things aren’t fair at the moment, we are making the most out of a very bad situation.
Aston Villa did this against Liverpool, they bit the bullet and went for it with their young side and gave a strong Liverpool side a really good game.
So, why aren’t they being utilised this weekend with Covid still rife in the Villa squad?
Why, if they can play in the FA Cup, can’t they fill a void in the league to fulfil a fixture?
This makes absolutely zero sense.
It devalues the players somewhat, makes a mockery of the rules, not that there are any clear ones, and just leaves so many questions unanswered.
When games started to be called off, why didn’t the Premier League and the FA sit down and say, right, it isn’t ideal, but if you’ve got significant cases in your first team squad you have to play the kids.
If they came and put that rule out, then everyone would know where they stood and we wouldn’t have this awful uncertainty that we have now.
Elsewhere in the cup, Shrewsbury Town were due to face Southampton and had about 10 or so Covid cases, according to the local press.
They’ve got a under 18s, they have an academy. Why can’t they utlitise that.
The Covid outbreak may not have been the fault of the players, but you’ve got Villa fielding youngsters and Shrewsbury not doing so.
You have to question why? The result may have been skewed, but if Villa did it why didn’t Shrewsbury have to do it.
Then the Carabao Cup earlier in the season saw Leyton Orient dumped out due to Covid cases, no questions asked.
How unfair is that?
The rules, as I have said are as clear as mud, and it really isn’t on. Either all games are off due to Covid outbreaks, or they are played with the under 23s and under 18s.
The authorities should have made it clear.
But as many in football at all levels know, those who run the game don’t always utilise common sense.