The Premier League and English Football League (EFL) have advised clubs to reinstate covid restrictions including separating players out based on their vaccination status, according to reports.
The new guidance from the EFL recommends splitting players into those who are doubled jabbed against coronavirus, boosted, previously infected or unvaccinated on team coaches, according to Sky News, which first reported the news.
Alongside encouraging footballers to wear masks more often, players in key positions like goalkeepers could also be asked to minimise their time together so clubs can find cover for the positions if needed. Clubs have also been urged to reconsider holding events, including Christmas parties.
The return to restrictions comes follows the government’s Plan B announcement earlier this week, and after the postponement of the Spurs’ games against Rennes and Brighton following a Covid-19 outbreak which affected around eight players and five members of staff.
The return to restrictions for players will be a painful reminder of the first lockdown and start of the pandemic, which virtually obliterated sporting fixtures worldwide.
Analysis by Deloitte published in the summer found that the European football market shrunk by 13 per cent in the first few months of the pandemic.
Total revenue fell by €3.7bn (£3.4bn) to €25.2bn (£22.1bn) in 2019-20, the first decrease since the global financial crisis struck more than a decade earlier.
Clubs suffered as leagues were postponed and resumed in empty stadia, resulting in lost revenue from ticketing and broadcasting.