Manchester United’s fixture against Brentford will not go ahead.
The reason is due to a number of Covid cases at the club. The fixture was due to take place at Brentford at 7.30pm today, Tuesday December 14.
What has happened at United?
BBC Sport reported on Sunday night, that there were a number of positive Covid cases reported by the club after the win over Norwich.
It was noted that every single player and staff member who had travelled to Norwich, had tested negative beforehand.
United then released a statement on Monday afternoon, stating that Carrington had temporarily been closed.
The statement read: “The decision has been taken to close down first team operations at the Carrington Training Complex for 24 hours, to minimise risk of any further infection.”
United have not identified who has and has not tested positive, and whether they are staff and/or players.
Will the game go ahead?
Up until late on Monday night it was unclear whether the match with Brentford will be cancelled. Language used in United’s statement suggested this was the club’s preference.
United said: “Given cancellation of training and disruption to the squad, and with the health of players and staff the priority, the club is in discussion with the Premier League whether it is safe for Tuesday’s fixture against Brentford to continue, both from a Covid infection and player preparation perspective.”
The decision rested with the Premier League. At 11.50pm the club released a statement confirming cancellation.
The statement read: “Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture at Brentford FC, on Tuesday 14 December at 19:30, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.”
What do Brentford say?
Brentford boss Thomas Frank was planning for the game to go ahead, at present, although he had called for clarity.
He was quoted by The Mail: “We are planning to play the game. That’s what we are focusing on. We can’t control anything else.
“I think it needs to be a significant amount of Covid cases before the game can be cancelled but to be fair I’m a little bit in doubt when it is enough.”
United’s statement added: “Manchester United regrets the inconvenience caused to Brentford FC and to the fans of both clubs by Covid-19.”
Away fans in tough spot
The uncertainty was not good for Manchester United’s away support, who did not know whether to make a cross-country trip to West London for the fixture.
The lack of notice may be too late for supporters to adjust plans, either way, many of who will have booked train fares and time off work. In future, the earlier the game can be postponed, the better.
At least the cancellation at this stage should avoid many making a wasted trip, who had not yet set off.
United’s next game is at home to Brighton on Saturday.
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