Alan Hutton has admitted the Premier League face a “huge” decision over how to deal with a significant Covid-19 outbreak at Newcastle United.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aston Villa and Scotland defender insisted officials would have to make the “right decision” as it will set the precedent for the rest of the season.
As reported by Sky Sports, the Magpies are in talks with the Premier League over potentially postponing their game against Aston Villa on Friday night due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club.
BREAKING: Newcastle's Premier League game at Aston Villa on Friday looking increasingly likely to be postponed due to coronavirus outbreak at club
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 1, 2020
It is said that players have been told to remain away from the club’s training ground, which has been closed since the weekend, and that there would be another round of testing on Wednesday.
There have been no Premier League matches suspended during the Coronavirus pandemic, although there have been a number of games in the EFL which have been called off.
Hutton has insisted that top-flight decision-makers face making what could be a season-defining decision on whether to force the Magpies to play on Friday night.
Asked if this was a huge moment for the Premier League, Hutton told Football Insider: “Yeah, I think you’re right. Actually, I think over the season all the clubs have done really well.
“They’ve managed to keep the numbers down or there’s not been too many to talk about but this is the first time so you’re right, they’re going to have to take a stance on it and it’s going to set the bar for the rest of the season moving forward.
“So, if the numbers do probably increase and get any higher – I mean, I don’t know the players who have actually got it, they’ve kept that in-house – they’re going to have to make a stand.
“It’s definitely going to affect all the other teams moving forward, so they’re gonna have to make the right decision.”
Newcastle beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in their last game to leave Steve Bruce and his men sitting 13th in the Premier League table after the weekend’s games.
Aston Villa meanwhile are looking to bounce back from Monday night’s 2-1 defeat to West Ham.
In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson has suggested the club could block a midfielder exit amid the “chaos” at St James’ Park.