Newcastle match at Aston Villa postponed after coronavirus outbreak

Newcastle match at Aston Villa postponed after coronavirus outbreak

Newcastle United’s trip to Aston Villa on Friday night has been postponed after the north-east club reported a “significant” rise in cases of Covid-19 within their first-team bubble and the Premier League board agreed to a request to delay the game.

Steve Bruce, his staff and players have been told to stay away from Newcastle’s training ground while the club, the Premier League and Public Health England conduct an inquiry as to the origins of an outbreak believed to be affecting up to 10 players as well as a handful of backroom staff.

Newcastle have thanked Villa for their understanding and it is hoped the game can be rescheduled as soon as practicable. It is the first in the Premier League called off because of coronavirus this season.

The league said in a statement: “The Premier League Board agreed … that the club are unable to train and adequately and safely prepare for their match on Friday.

“The decision has been taken in consultation with Newcastle United and Aston Villa, and following extensive consultation with PHE and Premier League medical advisors, with the health of players and staff the priority.”

• More details to follow …