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10 May, 2020 16:38

Premier League's 'Project Restart' plans face more scrutiny as Brighton see THIRD player test positive for coronavirus

Premier League's 'Project Restart' plans face more scrutiny as Brighton see THIRD player test positive for coronavirus

Premier League club Brighton have expressed their reservations about plans to resume the English league dubbed 'Project Restart' on June 8, after a third squad member tested positive for coronavirus.

The club's Chief Executive Paul Barber has confirmed that the unnamed player has been sent home to self-isolate for 14 days just a day before team representatives are due to meet to discuss proposals to safely resume the Premier League next month.

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"Unfortunately we have had a third player test positive just yesterday," Barber told Sky Sports. "Despite all the measures we have all been taking over the last few weeks, when the players haven’t been involved in taking any significant training at all, we have still suffered another player testing positive for the virus."

This comes after two Brighton players had previously tested positive for the potentially deadly virus. Both are now understood to have recovered. The club had opened their training facility late last month to allow players to train on an individual basis, though many elected to undergo their training at home.

"There are concerns and I think it is normal for all clubs to have those concerns," Barber continued. "We want to make sure we do all that we can [so] the protocols that are put into place are safe and secure and mitigate the risk."

Brighton, who were 15th in the Premier League at the time when football was suspended, have been one of the few English clubs to openly state their concerns regarding the resumption of football in the country with the United Kingdom Covid-19 death toll having passed 30,000 people according to recent figures.

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"At this stage of the season there is self-interest at every level of the table," Barber said, admitting that his stance on the subject has been guided by the potential impact on his club.

"There is as much self-interest at the top as there is at the bottom, there is as much self-interest in the middle as there is at the bottom. Everyone has different objectives for the season and we are all looking to play out the season, if it is safe to do so.

"We really do want to play and we want to make sure the competition stays as fair as it can be despite these exceptional circumstances that we are facing."

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