THE PREMIER League have announced that it has updated their guidance so that teams that now request for postponement of a match must have four minimum COVID cases.

This is a minimum marker, and not thought to be an automatic trigger for the postponement of a fixture, and comes in with immediate effect.

The Premier League’s clubs met today to discuss the issue after 22 matches had already been postponed so far this season, with some in controversial manners.

Previously, teams only had to prove that they had fewer than 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper in order to successfully request a postponement.

Daily Echo: Premier League chief executive Richard Masters (Pic: PA)Premier League chief executive Richard Masters (Pic: PA)

However, this did not take into account whether players were injured, on international duty, had been transferred/loaned out or even under-23 players without significant senior experience.

The guidance has now been adjusted to ensure that clubs actually have an outbreak of COVID in order to postpone a match, rather than just an injury-hit squad etcetera.

A Premier League statement read: “Following a club meeting today, the Premier League's COVID-19 match postponement guidance has been updated to include a COVID-19 impact threshold.

“From now on, if a club applies to postpone a match on the grounds of insufficient players due to COVID-19, they must have a minimum of four positive cases within their squad.

“This guidance will come into effect ahead of the next Premier League fixture on Saturday 5 February (Burnley v Watford).”

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has long called for “greater clarity,” regarding the postponement of matches.

The Austrian hit the headlines for his comments after the controversial postponing of Newcastle’s fixtures with Everton and Saints right before the January transfer window.

The Magpies had their two star strikers, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, injured and have since strengthened with Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood.