Aston Villa say they are fully supportive of the Premier League’s decision to postpone their home game with Newcastle on Friday night.
Newcastle closed their training ground following an outbreak of coronavirus among players and staff.
The north-east club shut the Benton complex on Monday due to a number of Covid-19 cases and at a board meeting on Tuesday the Premier League agreed to cancel the game.
A statement read: “Following a Premier League Board meeting today, Newcastle United’s fixture at Aston Villa, due to be played at 20:00 GMT, Friday 4 December, has been postponed.
“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.”
The Magpies were due to travel to Villa for Friday’s fixture at Villa Park.
A club statement 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.
“With the Magpies’ first team currently unable to prepare for the match as a group, Newcastle United lodged a request with the Premier League to postpone the fixture at Villa Park, which has been approved by the Premier League Board.”
The statement continued: “Despite previously experiencing only a very small number of isolated Covid-19 cases, positive test results have risen sharply in recent days.
“Accordingly, the club is now is working with Public Health England North East (PHE), local health authorities and the Premier League in line with Covid-19 protocols to identify the source of the outbreak and to ensure the risk of further transmission continues to be minimised.
“All players and training ground staff will be re-tested this week and a meeting between the club, Premier League and PHE will take place to assess the test results.
“The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted Covid-19 and asks that their privacy is respected.”
Villa’s statement read: “Aston Villa can confirm that the Club fully supports the Premier League’s decision to postpone our fixture with Newcastle United on Friday following a significant COVID outbreak at the Tyneside club and the shutdown of their training ground by Public Health England.
“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.”
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