A third Brighton and Hove Albion player has tested positive for coronavirus, the club’s chief executive has said.
Paul Barber confirmed that the unnamed player had been sent home and instructed to isolate for 14 days. The news comes a day before clubs are to meet to discuss proposals for a potential restart of the Premier League.
“Unfortunately we have had a third player test positive just yesterday,” Barber told Sky Sports News. “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.
On the possible resumption of the season, he said: “There are concerns and I think it is normal for all clubs to have those concerns. 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.”
Two Brighton players tested positive for Covid-19 earlier during the pandemic, though both have since recovered. The club reopened their training facilities at the end of April, but only for solo activities with most players continuing to train at home.
The Seagulls, who were 15th in the league when football was suspended, have been one of the clubs most willing to speak openly about their concerns over coronavirus and its impact on the game.
The club has been accused of acting in its own interests, a charge Barber did not deny. “At this stage of the season there is self-interest at every level of the table,” he said. “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.”