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Sean Dyche is hoping for more transparency from the Premier League over their criteria for games to be postponed.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 8:12 am

Burnley are waiting on a report from the league as to the full details regarding Wednesday night’s game with Watford at Turf Moor, which was called off two and a half hours before kick-off, with the club only finding out around 20 minutes before that.

A number of Premier League clubs have requested that games be called off, as COVID cases rise, with some requests allowed, and others not.

Tottenham and Manchester United have had two league games postponed, while Leicester were initially denied permission to call off Thursday night’s game against Spurs, which eventually was postponed.

Norwich City boss Dean Smith, who had four players missing to coronavirus protocols for their 2-0 defeat against former club Aston Villa on Tuesday, said there should be a “magic number” for the amount of cases to force a game to be called off, with league rules determining 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.”

Premier League clubs each submitted a 25-man squad list for the season, with no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the “Home Grown Player” criteria.

Clubs can also use registered Under-21 players, over and above the squad limit of 25 players.

So, Dyche wonders whether some of the clubs with an abundance of players could not field a team of some description: “A lot of the clubs having games called off carry massive squads.

“If I phoned one of the more powerful clubs and said ‘we want player X’, and they tell me ‘£15m’, and yet they have a couple of Covid cases and don’t play player X, you go, how are they worth £15m then?

“In theory, when do we come to a time when we say we just have to play, within reason, the players that you have got?

“I don’t know when we get to that point, but imagine if this keeps going, how many games do you call off and how long do you wait to get back on?

“There is nothing to say there won’t be Covid cases when we try to slide in the games we’ve missed.

“You have these squads for a reason and these Under-20s, and we do talk about development and how these young players are not getting a chance.”

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