The Premier League have confirmed the match between Aston Villa and Newcastle has been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak at the north-east club.
The match was originally to be played on Friday, but a rise in Covid-19 cases at Newcastle’s training ground has resulted in several players and members of staff having to go into isolation.
“Following a Premier League Board meeting today, Newcastle United’s fixture at Aston Villa, due to be played at 8pm, Friday 4 December, has been postponed,” a statement on the league’s website said.
“Newcastle lodged a request with the Premier League to rearrange the game following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the club, which resulted in Public Health England North East (PHE) advising that their training facilities remain closed.
“The Premier League Board agreed, as a consequence, that the club are unable to train and adequately and safely prepare for their match on Friday.
“The decision has been taken in consultation with Newcastle United and Aston Villa, and following extensive consultation with PHE and Premier League medical advisors, with the health of players and staff the priority.”
❌ #NUFC‘s fixture at Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre.
A new date and time for the game will be confirmed in due course.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 1, 2020
The Mapgies published a statement on their website which read: “Several Newcastle United players and staff members are now self-isolating at home after returning positive test results in recent days and the club’s training centre site has been temporarily closed in order to contain the spread of the virus.”
Villa have backed the postponement decision, with a statement on their website saying: “Aston Villa can confirm that the club fully supports the Premier League’s decision to postpone our fixture with Newcastle United on Friday.
“We would like to thank both the Premier League board and Newcastle United for their comprehensive and transparent communication during the process which resulted in this decision being reached. Everybody at Aston Villa wishes a speedy recovery to all those at Newcastle United affected by the virus.”
The Newcastle players and staff will be tested again later this week and then the club will meet with the Premier League and Public Health England to assess the results.
Steve Bruce’s team, who beat Crystal Palace 2-0 last Friday, are currently in 13th place in the Premier League with 14 points from 10 matches.
Villa are one point ahead of the Tyneside outfit but have won just one of their last five matches in the English top flight.
Newcastle’s next match, against West Brom, is scheduled for December 12, while Villa are away to Wolves the same day.