PL chiefs ‘to slap £200,000 fines on stars who break lockdown rules’
Premier League chiefs will crack down on stars who break lockdown restrictions by handing them hefty fines and even points penalties, according to reports.
Top-flight officials are keen to prevent any glitches before and once Project Restart gets underway, which could come in the form of sloppy behaviour by clubs and players which could lead to a coronavirus spike.
And according to The Sun, emergency powers will be brought in to give the Premier League the power to dish out fines of around £200,000 for any offences to do with breaching lockdown restrictions.
The report also states a second coronavirus offence would result in double punishment, while repeat offenders will face limitless penalties including points deductions.
The news comes after a host of Premier League stars have broken Government lockdown rules.
Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker, Tottenham defender Serge Aurier and Aston Villa star Jack Grealish have been the more high-profile cases, while Bournemouth’s Jordan Ibe and Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette have also been guilty.
Walker was alleged to have broken lockdown rules three times in 24 hours with trips to a party and his parents’ house and cycling, while Aurier also appeared to break rules the same amount of times in separate incident.
Villa captain Grealish meanwhile crashed his £70,000 Range Rover after partying at a friend’s flat.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho was also accused by the Government of putting lives at risk in April after flouting social distancing regulations when holding a public training session with midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in Barnet.
Officials are desperate to avoid an increase in Covid-19 infections which could result in the season being curtailed before all 92 games are completed.
To avoid that scenario, the report states checks will be made on the cleanliness of matchday stadiums as well as to whether players stick to social distancing rules.
Some clubs have also reportedly been told their grounds need urgent attention to provide the ‘zones’ needed to minimise infection.
The risk of infection has been minimised at training grounds already, with enormous sums spent on testing equipment and staffing to create a sterile environment.
So far, only 13 players and staff have tested positive in a total of 6,274 samples, with no new cases confirmed in the latest testing phase.
The news comes after 1,195 tests were carried out on Thursday and Friday in the sixth round of testing.
Manchester City begin the biggest contest of their season this week — one that could change the future of the club and its star names.
The Premier League champions launch their monumental legal battle with UEFA in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday over their two-year ban from the Champions League for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.
If City fail in their appeal, which is due to be heard over three days via a video conference, they face losing hundreds of millions of pounds of prize money as well as key players like Kevin De Bruyne.
City and Uefa have gone to great lengths to keep the details of the hearing under wraps.
The hearing is being held at a secret location, with a video link bringing in lawyers in Switzerland and England, while CAS said on Friday that both parties had requested confidentiality for the case.
Even the identities of the three judges — one chosen by City, one by Uefa and one by CAS — have been protected.
City were punished in February for ‘serious breaches’ of FFP rules, relating to accusations of inflating their sponsorship revenue from 2012-16 as well as for failing to co-operate with investigators.
They were hit with a £25million fine as well as being banned from the Champions League for two years.
City, owned by Abu Dhabi’s royal family, have maintained their innocence and claim the club has a ‘comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position,’ according to chief executive Ferran Soriano.
The consequences of a defeat for City are huge, with De Bruyne admitting that a two-year ban could see him leave the club.
‘Once the decision is made, I will review everything,’ the Belgian said last month. ‘Two years would be long, but in the case of one year I might see.’
For Uefa, a decision in City’s favour would undermine the FFP policy.