In a statement, the Premier League has announced it is suspending all games until at least April 4th in response to the spread of the Coronavirus.

A host of clubs are dealing with players and staff who have tested positive for the illness, or been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed.

Not least of which is Arsenal, who confirmed last night that manager Mikel Arteta has fallen ill, leading to the entire first team squad being placed in ‘self-isolation’, along with over 100 staff.

Other clubs affected include Chelsea, Everton, Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester. UEFA have already postponed next week’s matches in the Champions League and Europa League and say they will make a decision on further steps in due course.

The PL statement reads:

Following a meeting of Shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on 4 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.

“In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.”

Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League’s aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.

In this fast-moving environment, further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Of course we’ll have to wait and see how successful the efforts to slow the spread of the virus are, and there are no guarantees that by that date everything will be hunky-dory again.

Check out the new Arsecast Extra

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bobbyp

Some sense at last!

Viva la prof

I agree, is like to nominate myself to represent Arsenal for the best football team of 19/20 season at Rock Paper Scissors, I am supernaturally gifted and I’m a free agent. I Dont want to sound arrogant or anything but Barca is sniffing, I went to Barcelona as a schoolboy so they say I have the DNA but Don’t worry I would die on the cannon!

A P

Thanks for trying but nah.

PeteyB

Indeed, heads pulled out of the sand at last.. . That arsecast went out of date fast!!

Aaron

Sensible to say the least.
Lets hope things turn for the best in a few weeks time.

Stay safe y’all.

FrenchGunner

Bloody hell!!! This is not looking good at all, I think its safe to say this is the worst health situation the world has faced since the beginning of time, excluding maybe typhoid.
I hope they come up with a cure as soon as possible..
Wishing the gaffer a speedy recuperation…

The Voice of the Noise

Ehrm.. The plague?

PeteyB

The plague had a very high mortality rate, of course medical care quite different. Then Spanish Flu 100 years back infected around 30% of the global population and killed up to 50 million globally.
If this virus goes on to infect even 50% of people, and has a mortality rate of even 1% there could be similar number of deaths.

Dave M

The current morality rate is inflated because its based on known cases, there are a huge number of unreported cases and asymptomatic infected people. Here are a few quotes on directly that Anthony Fauci (director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases): “There’s another whole cohort that is either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic,” Head of WHO: “We’re going to see a diminution in the overall death rate.” “COVID-19 spreads less efficiently than flu, transmission does not appear to be driven by people who are not sick” …. Thus the death rate people are quoting is artificially elevated… Read more »

Con

Dave M – thank you, good comment. People have lost perspective.

Eric Blair

This is simply misleading. You are saying the rate is lower because many people haven’t been tested, but that would mean the virus has spread far further than we imagined, meaning a lower death rate will still mean a huge number of deaths because of how far it has spread. Furthermore, many deaths have occurred in Italy and Iran due to a lack of access to ICUs and breathing apparatus when the peak number of infections hits, when the hospitals are overwhelmed and cannot help everyone, doctors having to decide who lives and dies based on their age, people dying… Read more »

Dave M

What is misleading!? This is from WHO. its how these things work. Of course there are undiagnosed people. You don’t get told you have it when you contract it do you? “hi, I’m corona Virus, I’ll be infecting you now”…

The problem with sensationalising inflated death rates (without properly characterising them like I have shown) is people with minor symptoms rush to hospitals and then most at least he assessed, which is playing a massive role in overloading health care.

HoldenontoArsenal

Eric, please stop using basic math and statistics in a mathematical and statistical situation

FrenchGunner

How come am getting massively thumbed down, I never said anything horrible, I only made a comment based on my limited knowledge on health related issues.
Seems the virus might be responsible for an increased amount of hate aside its numerous symptoms

Paul Roberts

It could be about the Eurovision Song Contest mate?

Viva la prof

Tough crowd today

Dubai Ham

why all the thumbs down? The guy made a decent comment

FrenchGunner

You see… This is probably the reason why the Emirates stadium is less of a fortress compared to the Highbury days. Too much hate in and around the Arsenal

Beearsed

Ehrm….50-100 million dying of Spanish flu last century or more recenly 10s of millions dying from Aids?

This Must Be The Place

Ebola was pretty unpleasant/scary

Beearsed

Ehrm…the Spanish Flu last century which killed 50-100 millions or more recently Aids which killed tens of millions?

Anders Limpar

Read a fucking book

Dan nichols

Clever move Mikel, still undefeated in the Pl this decade….Seriously, this makes sense all round. But these are dark times for all of us in the sport and entertainment industry. At least footballers are loaded, self employed small bands, promoters and people in smaller sports will really struggle to earn money. Even darker times for elderly people and people with existing conditions. Us having fun , and despite our recent travails that’s what footie is, is now irrelevant.

HelderHughes

I think the media really need to look at their ethics in the aftermath of this too. They’ve been crying wolf about medical scares since I can remember. Not just bird flu, swine flu, sars, Ebola but also immunisation, killer bees, false widow spiders… 

There’s always some sensational story about how we are all going to die which means that when something genuinely threatening comes along, we just assume it’s a load of propaganda to sell papers. In the era of fake news and rolling news, as always it’s the general public who end up suffering. 

btw

Yeah, but caution first. SARS could have been this bad, we were lucky that time. More like the general population needs better science education and I would blame those in the media that downplayed the risks of COVID19. It’s not just the idiots on FOX news in the USA, here in Denmark I heard a doctor on the radio 2 weeks ago saying it was just another cold, just one we had not encountered before. Should havealso mentioned it was 5-20x more deadly than the flu and possibly easier to spread.

Dave M

As I said (with quotes) above the current mortality rate is inflated Because its based on KNOWN cases – once we have a better idea of total unreported cases and asymptomatic patients mortality rate will be much lower (prediction models need much better data to improve the estimates).
The current mortality rate should be prefaced with that fact EVERY time it is written to reduce the media driven hysteria.

HelderHughes

Tell that to the Italian doctors who are having to choose who lives and who dies and have infected nurses working because there’s no one else to treat the patients.

Dave M

Yes because people are being paranoid and people with minor symptoms are checking themselves into hospitals overloading the system for people that need it… AND there are other illnesses (like the flu) that are STILL a problem and causing severe illness and deaths yet they are forgotten stories due to the hysteria of COVID-19. Testing needs to be done, but away from hospital treatment areas and there needs to be better information on how treating less severe cases (vast majority) at home in isolation. Telling people death rates of 2-5% without stating that this is without considering unknown cases is… Read more »

miike

It’s extreme because it’s true. The situation in Italy is pretty dire for old and immunosuppressed people. Old people and immunosuppressed people who need breathing apparatuses are overwhelming Italian hospitals, not hypochonriacs like you suggest. If you’re under 40 you obviously shouldn’t be more worried for yourself than for normal flu (going by mortality rates by age) but you should worry somewhere on a scale by age of slightly more to a lot if you’re 50-90+ and you should worry about these family members. Look up mortality by age bracket if you don’t believe it. The buying out toilet paper… Read more »

Dave M

I literally quoted from WHO previously: “We’re going to see a diminution in the overall death rate.” However, it seems (by quoting this 10% value) you don’t want to accept that the death rates being quoted now are inflated because of unknown cases in people that havent been tested. All along, I have said so what you can to prevent this. Wash hands properly, be careful about contact, self isolate if necessary. And, we agree that panic buying is paranoia. But, I guess we just differ because I’m not accepting current morbidity statistics on face value as WHO have specifically… Read more »

Eric Blair

What figure do you think it is? What would you be happy with? ‘Regular’ flu kills at about 0.1% and this is undoubtedly many times stronger. But if it even were 0.1%, nobody has immunity to it, so if everyone in the UK gets it you’re looking at 65,000 people dead as a result, and that is an unrealistic dream scenario. Are you ready for that many dead? Is the country? That’s why it’s serious, and that’s why the spread needs to be stopped, as it was in China.

Dave M

IF… if EVERYONE gets it, which won’t happen if people protect themselves properly. One again you go for the extreme. EVERYONE… I have no idea what the actual mortality rate will be, neither do you and neither do authorities (yet)… All I have said is that media should be contextualising data properly, yet you seem such a logical, scientifically sound measure inappropriate. I suppose you deem climate change a hoax too!? And that is something that poses a legitimate threat to our future, just not immediate enough for anyone to really care enough to do anything. Here is more scientific… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I understand perfectly what you are saying. But you are never going to be able to explain it to people on here. Standard education in most countries of the world simply forces people to learn facts. There is rarely any attempt to teach them how to use logic to advance beyond memorised facts. You will always be shouted down by people who don’t understand what you are telling them because they “KNOW” that “facts are facts”.

HelderHughes

That was pretty much a direct quote from an Italian doctor in the thick of it talking on the radio. But hey, they probably should have had gooner Dave on to give his analysis too.

You could have told them how much swag this disease was getting.

Eric Blair

You have no idea what you’re talking about. The hospitals in Italy are not being overwhelmed by worried healthy people desperate for a checkup, it is by sick people who have the virus.

Eric Blair

This is simply misleading. You are saying the rate is lower because many people haven’t been tested, but that would mean the virus has spread far further than we imagined, meaning a lower death rate will still mean a huge number of deaths because of how far it has spread. Furthermore, many deaths have occurred in Italy and Iran due to a lack of access to ICUs and breathing apparatus when the peak number of infections hits, when the hospitals are overwhelmed and cannot help everyone, doctors having to decide who lives and dies based on their age, people dying… Read more »

btw

I think this could really damage some clubs, Arsenal’s cash reserves certainly look smart now. Imagine paying player salaries without income from the stadium, and I wonder if TV money will be impacted. The BBC article from today said football officials privately think April is not reasonable, the outbreak is expected to peak in May/June. Poor Liverpool, imagine they are denied their long awaited PL title (sorry, but I can’t help smiling), having this season cancelled is maybe the best thing that could happen for Arsenal FC.

atom

No offense – but who cares. These clubs are all owned by billionaires at this point who can easily handle the bill if desired

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Our owner won’t. When businessmen who own lots of different businesses have one that loses a lot of money they tend to liquidate it to cut their losses and perhaps get a little bit of their lost money back.

If we lose a lot of money as a Club we may well have a fire sale of players and then he’ll probably wind the club up and sell the real estate.

Pepe's left foot

That’s sensible but surely schools, bars, restaurants and other public events must also temporary shut down now as a safeguard measure. How many people will be reading all this but still planning to hit their local on a Friday night; when after sinking a few down hygiene takes a back burner?

Berlingoon

Can’t see this issue being solved until April. Rather the other way around. It will be much worse by then.

Mark

Shocked that it took them this long to make the only decision the should have. If they are able to resume I wonder how much time teams will have to prepare as I know they should not be training during the ban.

karl

Sensible in the circumstances and maybe this will illustrate just how congested the fixture list has become. Football should not be looking at ways to create new competitions and stretch players too far, as FIFA and UEFA battle it out for more money.

Anonymarse

Greed is good

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

…if you are the one with all the money.

Redbaron

The only possible decision which could have been taken at this stage. Surprisingly, they waited till players/staff at multiple clubs confirmed infections to act but thankfully the red tape swung into action before this weekend’s matches.
Hopefully clubs/premier league/community will look at supporting the support staff who are dependent on match day incomes.

Kareem Mohamed

Premier league clubs should be fine (they will cop the loss).
It’s the lower league clubs that I worry for.

Either the club has to take the loss or the staff lose a valuable source of income.
I’m leaning towards the football clubs, but this could genuinely cripple them.
Everyone knows the financial pressures they are uunder…

Dave M

Want to worry about someone. What about the casually employed during these societal shutdowns!? Can we assume all the multiple home owners out there will generously put a hold on their rent!?

Kareem Mohamed

I was just replying to his comment RE: football club staff.

I am casually employed (underemployed) with two jobs.
So I myself could be out of work if I contract the virus or if my employers shut down.

PS. And one of those jobs involves cash handling and the other is working with children.
So I probably have a higher chance of exposure.
Thank God I’m 30 and of good health.
My only concern will be $$$$$

N10

Good luck man, sorry to hear. Hopefully there will be some decency among firms to have some understanding around these issues.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

“If you can’t work we’ll find somebody else who will” is the standard response to people with casual jobs. NO Company looks after casuals. It employs casuals because it wants to save money and because actual employees cost a fortune. Employing casuals and letting them fend for themselves when times are hard for them is the bedrock on which most modern businesses are founded.

Dave M

I’m totally with you, I’m lucky enough to have a term contract (in research) with cover, but I’ve been in your position many years. I feel for all people in your position especially those with kids. There is ZERO planning for those people through this…

Eric Blair

Well, now Johnson is a man of the people, why doesn’t he offer unconditional support to those on vulnerable work contracts? This kind of assurance made by the state has already been done in other European countries.

Up North

Until April 4th? Seriously? This pandemic is sspreading like wildfire and those believing in that PL is resuming at that date also believe in the Easter Bunny. UK as a global travel hub is much more infected than the PM likes to believe. Suspend the season.

Martin

At least that date. It could go on longer

Berlingoon

To set such a date is utter nonsense. It suggests that there’s a chance that this will be solved by then which again leads to people not taking it as seriously as they should.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Why would they? In England everybody gets colds all the time. They’ll just assume they have a cold and go about their usual business as if nothing was wrong. “Other” people get Covid19.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

The Easter Bunny has already contracted Covid19 and will be self-isolating for 12 months.

Dubai Ham

Suspend the season. I don’t want to lose my loved ones before their time. Boris can pee off. Lock down the country and slow down the spread until a vaccine is found.
People’s lives are far more important than a football kick about.
#loveonesmatter

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We’re only suspending football? What bloody use is that? We need to suspend all sports. All fairs, fetes, and festivals. All concerts. Close all cinemas, restaurants, pubs, clubs, shops, theatres, trains, churches, hospitals. Ban gatherings outside of immediate family. Ban travel outside the home. Everybody stays home for a minimum of three weeks. Most people die of starvation. Survivors are theoretically free of Covid19 and can live happy lives as long as everything that was stopped can be started again, and as long as all travel from outside the UK is permanently stopped. Italy already did a lot of that.… Read more »

Giddygun

From the way things are going, Liverpool will remember this year 2020 as the year they nearly “caught Jack Sparrow”

Me2

The thing that I find frightening about the whole thing is not the virus itself but the over reaction to it. I witnessed some asshole getting the strop over a packet of pasta this morning. Really…

N10

Really? People dying and others suffering for weeks on end in heath crisis, some of them saddled with residual permanent breathing disability, society coming to a halt to stop transmission, lost wages, food insecurity, hospital staff overwhelmed… all of THAT is less concerning than people panic-buying? Overreaction is terrible, but it would have been avoided if governments around the world had taken the threat more seriously and not UNDER-reacted.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

So what should all of the Governments of the world have done that would have stopped it? …and remember, you have to stop it everywhere at the same time, or else it will spring back again.

You have to know there’s a threat to react to it. The Chinese government did everything they could to keep it a bloody secret.

By the time the world even knew about it how many unknown people from Hunan had already spread themselves throughout China and other countries?

Jeremy

From a pure footballing perspective, I am quite content with this outcome. Aside from the obvious reasons of keeping people safe, if the league continues we will get injured players back and they will hopefully get some rest. If it gets cancelled we can banish this season from memory and move on. Also, regardless of whether the scousers win it or not, nobody will ever remember this season for that. Win win.

Jarghs

Coronalull

HoldenontoArsenal

The football season(s) will only begin again after roughly 6-12 weeks of full lock down and quarantine in most places in the world. Look at the Lombardy region of Italy trends to fully comprehend what is happening. Time to wake up people.