Manchester United have upset staff at their Carrington training complex by erecting signs in the car park branding some of them ‘non-relevant’.
The signs have been put up to separate the allocation of parking spaces between players and coaches, and other staff.
Many ‘non-relevant’ staff are charged with looking after players or have crucial operational roles at the training ground, but have made to feel undervalued by the club.
Two test in a day for the elite
Tottenham’s players and staff took two Covid-19 tests on the same day this week as UEFA are insisting all participants in their competitions take part in their own screening programme, as well as that mandated by the Premier League.
UEFA are using a different diagnostic company to the Premier League — Synlab as opposed to Prenetics — so two sets of testing kit arrived at Tottenham’s training ground last Monday for use before they flew to Macedonia for Thursday’s Europa League qualifier against Shkendija.
The dual-testing approach applies to all Premier League clubs in Europe this season and is a far cry from the situation in the Football League, whose clubs are no longer testing players on a weekly basis.
Liverpool sent inspection squad into Sincil Bank
Liverpool’s Covid-19 precautions were so stringent ahead of Thursday’s Carabao Cup third-round tie against Lincoln City that they sent a team of inspectors to Sincil Bank to run the rule over the stadium.
The inspection team went as far as timing the length of the walk from the away dressing room to the pitch, as well as examining the rest of the facilities to ensure Liverpool’s players would not be exposed to undue infection risk.
Jurgen Klopp has already asked his players to avoid restaurants and city-centre shopping to limit their contact with members of the public.
EFL streaming model gives top clubs food for thought
The Football League have provided the Premier League with a potential model for mitigating losses caused by the absence of fans with the initial success of their iFollow streaming service.
Over the first two weekends of the season live streams on club websites have attracted 150,000 viewers, around 40 per cent of the average match-day crowd across the three divisions, which has enabled the clubs to generate around one-third of their usual gate receipts including season-ticket sales.
Premier League clubs are losing £100million a month without match-day income, but have so far been unable to offset these losses through selling live coverage to fans, as for the first four rounds of the season they are giving away the extra live games to rights holders Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC.
This policy will be reviewed at a meeting of the clubs next week amid growing demands to stream games not currently scheduled for live broadcast for a fee.
If the EFL model were followed it should enable them to raise tens of millions each month.
It is unclear whether Sky and BT would endorse such a plan, however, as it could undermine the value of their exclusive rights deal.
Rivals unite to get fans back
Arsenal and Tottenham are working together to push the Premier League into adopting a hard line in talks with Government over the return of fans, which led to last week’s strongly-worded statement in which the top-flight condemned the cancellation of planned pilot events at their clubs.
The north London clubs are suffering more than most in the ongoing absence of match-going fans, as both operate 60,000 stadiums which also provide lucrative hospitality businesses, and the money they borrowed to build their new grounds is still being repaid.
The strength of the Premier League’s criticism of Government surprised others in the sport, particularly as they rejected a proposal to issue a joint statement on the issue along with the FA and EFL.
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