Sunderland's rivals call for tougher sanctions if COVID-19 protocols are breached - as cases in League One rise

Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has called for tougher sanctions for clubs who breach COVID-19 protocols.

Cases in the third tier have risen over the last week, with Sunderland, Peterborough and Bristol Rovers all seeing their weekend fixtures postponed as a result of outbreaks while Portsmouth have also confirmed a new positive test.

It means a number of clubs will see their festive fixture schedules depleted, while the EFL will conduct investigations into the circumstances surrounding all the postponements.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And Robinson – who was confident that the Black Cats had not breached any protocols – called for tougher sanctions if clubs are found to have breached regulations.

Karl RobinsonKarl Robinson
Karl Robinson

He told the Oxford Mail: “When you have people who travel on coaches and stay in hotels when they know they’ve got Covid, at some stage points (deductions) have to be put in front of managers if they do the protocols wrong.

“If I have a meeting with everyone in one room and someone tests positive, that’s my fault.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If we have every single player in the gym at one time, that’s my fault.

“We’re in different dressing rooms, we sit in different seats and everyone’s socially-distanced while they’re eating.

“Our training protocol has to change because of how close people are for a period of time.

“We’re constantly checking that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We spend money on testing the second someone has a little cold and there’s other teams that don’t and get away with it.

“The fine will come next season – something has to change.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor:

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This depth of SAFC coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor