The Clarets were in their hotel ahead of the game at Aston Villa, with the players having their pre-match meal, when the club found out, around 12-15 p.m., that the match had been called off by the Premier League, “based on the number of COVID-19 cases, injuries and illness” in the Villa camp.
The same situation occured on Wednesday night. when Burnley were preparing to face Watford, with that game forced off around two and a half hours before kick-off, due to an “ongoing COVID-19 outbreak” within the Watford squad.
Right back Matt Lowton said after the Watford postponement: “Yeah, it is very frustrating, we’d done all the work building up to it, get to the game and obviously you’re ready to play.
“It was a big game for us, we knew that - we took a good point at the weekend against a good side so we were looking forward to it.
“We were sat eating the pre-match meal when the sports scientist came in and said it was off, so very frustrating.
“We were having a conversation five minutes prior where we’d read no more games would get called off for COVID, Under 23s would have to be drafted in and things like that, and five minutes later we were told it’s off.
“I get they had travelled and had a lot of cases, and it is what it is, but we were none the wiser as to when it could be called off, we just have to be on it, the game is going ahead, and we have to think like that until told different.”
However, they endured the same situation again at Villa.
Villa requested that the game be called off at 10-30 a.m. after a number of fresh COVID cases emerged after test results came in, and the Premier League broke the news to Burnley just after noon.
The Clarets, who had one unnamed case among the playing staff as of Thursday lunchtime, had no further positives.
It all means, should Newcastle’s home game with Manchester City go ahead on Sunday, Burnley, currently a point ahead of their relegation rivals, would have three games in hand, after the recent home game with Spurs also fell by the wayside after heavy snow before kick-off.
Burnley were already waiting for a report from the Premier League as to the full reasons behind Wednesday night’s postponement, and this latest call by the league again leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
A number of Premier League clubs have requested that games be called off, as COVID cases rise, with some requests allowed, and others not.
League rules determine that a match cannot be postponed if clubs have 14 or more players available.
Each request has been considered on an individual basis, and Dyche is one of a number of managers who would like some clarity on the situation: “That is why we’re waiting on the report from our game, to understand what are going to be the reasons to call a game off and what are the cut-off points.
“Imagine we are talking beyond health and welfare, which I don’t want to undermine - after that, what are the situations likely to occur to get a game called off?
“That is where we are a little grey.”