Following the news that the Premier League will push on with their festive schedule despite a rise in COVID-19 cases, Liverpool fans have predicted “carnage” ahead.
With the majority of sides impacted by positive tests in recent weeks, and a busy run of games around Christmas and New Year, the postponement of an entire round of fixtures was considered.
But in a virtual meeting on Monday, the 20 clubs were unable to agree on the matter, with no vote taken and the fixtures due to be held as planned.
"If we just stop it and don't do anything, then I don't see the benefit, really."
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) December 19, 2021
The manager himself has expressed concern over Liverpool fulfilling their fixtures, and now it seems likely that a youthful side will play Leicester in the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Wednesday.
It is a far-from-ideal situation, and taking to social media following the news, many supporters responded negatively:
All steam ahead for the Premier League over Christmas then. This could be carnage.
— Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) December 20, 2021
Course not, it would make far too much sense. https://t.co/FatmZV2MAJ
— Matt Ladson (@mattladson) December 20, 2021
This is madness. I want to see the Premier League continue as much as anyone else but have they even considered the health & safety of players here?
About to enter the busiest period of the calendar & they're saying you can play with 13 outfield & a keeper. https://t.co/TBzgdbMoeA
— Ryan (@ryajones_) December 20, 2021
We’ll be royally screwed if more from our squad gets covid.
— ????? (@NotAChib1) December 20, 2021
Of course it’s kept the same. LFC play 26th and then 28th, with likely increasing COVID cases. The integrity of this season is potentially evaporated.
— Declan Carr (@Declancarr96) December 20, 2021
Premier league are a joke
— kcunningham (@kathyc1967) December 20, 2021
— Dave Davis (@DaveD0106) December 20, 2021
It is certainly a contentious topic, and one that seemingly has no simple solution, with there convincing arguments to both maintain the fixture list and to apply a so-called circuit breaker.
The impact of this decision will only be revealed in the weeks to come, and the situation remains a fluid one as clubs test players and staff daily and await further setbacks.
There are, however, major questions over the duty of care to players and whether there is really a place for a third festive fixture between those traditional dates on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.