Sunday, March 3, 2024

Arteta: Arsenal assessing Covid-19 travel risks as players get ready to holiday

Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal are in consultation with the Premier League about how players should and should not holiday at the end of the season.

There are concerns that players could be exposed to Covid-19 when they head off on holiday this summer. Given there are only four weeks between tomorrow’s FA Cup final and the Community Shield on 29 August and six weeks until the 2020/21 campaign starts on 12 September the knock-on effects could be serious.

With travel guidance changing daily and new self-isolation rules coming into place when returning from certain destinations, the worry is that key men could miss a significant chunk of what will be a very short pre-season.

Ahead of the FA Cup final, Arteta was asked what the club are doing to mitigate those risks. They are looking to provide guidance but he’s keen that it’s not too prescriptive.

“It’s something we’re addressing with the Premier League; what can we do, what can’t we do,” he said.

“We need to get into a common sense situation in order to value also what they players have done as well. As well, to be a little bit flexible.

“We live in the most protected environment that any industry has with the amount of tests and precautions and protocols that we have in place. [Covid-19] it affects everything that’s why we’re having conversations with the Premier League and the government in order to do the right thing.”

The boss also confirmed that the players and staff are due to have three weeks off although that could get complicated if we beat Chelsea tomorrow.

“We are going to have less than three weeks off which I think is the minimum that we can ask after the effort the players and the staff have done in order to continue and get back playing football,” he said. “But we have to accommodate the calendar and the fixtures and it’s the only way we can do it.”

Given the circumstances, it doesn’t sound like we’ll be undertaking any form of pre-season tour and will instead focus our efforts at London Colney. While not an issue right now, playing the Community Shield could be a headache in the making. Whoever wins tomorrow will likely be tempted to field their kids against Liverpool or recall players earlier than expected.

Premier League players are entitled to “five weeks paid holiday to be taken at a time or times determined by the club – subject to the club’s first team and any international commitments” however “a club shall not unreasonably refuse to permit the player to take three of such weeks consecutively”.

Given the pressure the players have been under for the last three months, a few weeks off will certainly do them good in the long run. It’s pretty obvious that if we run them into the ground, barely give them a break, and then ask them to go again that the risk of injury will increase.

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Let’s win the cup first and then worry for the rest


Because, at the end of the day, a foreign holiday is a basic human right, yeah? It might be an idea to suck it up this year, guys. You know, like everyone else. fast forward 2 months and one of the players or their family is ill. They will be victims right? As opposed to doing the right thing now and foregoing the instant gratification of a holiday, like a grown up. You want to be paid exceptional wages? Well that comes at a cost. Players On 50k a week earn more in a year than Joe Average does in… Read more »


While I sort of get what you’re saying and somewhat agree with the sentiment, I think this needs to be looked at more like some players idea of a holiday may be returning to their home country to spend time with family and friends rather than 3 weeks lounging on a sun drenched beach. Is it a good idea? Yeah probably not but I think certain players like Torreira might benefit returning to Uruguay for a few weeks as it has been reported in the past he is home sick and a trip back home to recharge might be good… Read more »


and does this increase or reduce the chance of infection to a. The holidaying person. b. The population in the resident country.?
its about being selfless. As opposed to selfish. This thing isn’t going away. Look at the 1918 pandemic. If you can give me a reason that the outcome should be different, I’m willing to listen. Making excuses for the ultra privileged, and i have no axe to grind here, doesn’t strike me as being helpful.

Laca new signing

I don’t get this bile towards football players just because they get paid lot’s of money. I have seen it lately with verybad comments about Özil’s wages – like he gotthe club to sign his contract at gun point or something! It’s not fair; I think it speaks to a sort of “inferiority complex” and says so much about one’s self worth to even think of judging another person based on the amount of their earnings. Their privileged wages notwithstanding these are normal human beings with lives, emotional needs and feelings just like everyone else. Again it’s not their fault… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Today we just need to support our team but don’t you see how entitled Ozil felt when he refused 12% cut at a time there were no games played to generate money?

Dave cee

Ahmm, yes Ozil and his agent had a huge role to play in negotiating that contract. Running down his old contract, making noises about going to Man U or elsewhere on a free. Do you think Arsenal did nothing about extending until he had 5 months to go and then 1st offer said how about 350k a week?
Certainly not his fault that our pathetic board fell for all the ploys instead of telling him to do one of course


Why so nasty?. Emi hasn’t seen his family for a year, a holiday would allow him to catch up with them and for his father to see the two year old grandchild he hasn’t seen for twelve months. Other players go home and catch up with loved ones they don’t see on a regular basis. And what’s wrong with a couple of weeks switching off and having a lovely break after what has been a horrible, stressful season for everyone? I’m sure the players and their families will be behaving in a responsible manner, their livelihoods depend on being fit… Read more »

P1553d off

I think people forget the vast amounts of money generated by the premier League and football clubs individually. Paying players a fair percentage is the right thing to do. You can’t compare a footballer to a nurse on pay scales, if they were payed the same then the player would only receive tiny % of what the club generated.

Dave cee

Yep, if you genuinely can’t stomach the wages of celebrities and athletes etc then do nothing to contribute to that wealth. Don’t pay for TV, click on links, go to games, buy merchandise etc. The money doesn’t actually come out of thin air.
As for holidays, go win the Cup today then take a few weeks off to relax, whilst still being responsible, and enjoy.


I suggest to not visit Florida. Or any of the other 47 contiguous states

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