Which Premier League clubs cancelled their Christmas parties? Leeds and Burnley have already had celebrations but Patrick Vieira says scrapping Crystal Palace festivities ‘was the right thing to do’
Crystal Palace became the latest Premier League club to ignore the advise of the Conservatives and cancel their Christmas party.
The Eagles were one of many top-flight clubs set to capitalise on their lack of European football to have their annual shindig at the start of December.
Gone are the days Tottenham’s players organised a festive trip to Dublin behind then-manager Harry Redknapp’s back in 2009.
But some Premier League teams were still making plans for Christmas with Kalvin Phillips even picking up an injury during a night out with Leeds last month.
Burnley have also already had their gathering with Sean Dyche saying: “I wasn’t there. I’m positive I wasn’t there. It wasn’t my party.”
Yet a rise in coronavirus cases and the introduction of several new restrictions has meant many others have to put the brakes on – here’s what we know…
Which Premier League clubs cancelled their Christmas parties?
Patrick Vieira remembers celebrating during the festive period as a player but revealed a joint decision had been made to cancel their party this year.
He told Sky Sports: “This is part of the culture of this country, this Christmas party the players are doing.
“We did it a couple of years ago and this is something players like to do but obviously with the situation, we and the players decided to cancel the Christmas party and this was the right thing to do.
“I am just like everybody else. We are all worried about the increase of positive cases, not just in football but in our society.
“Everywhere else the cases are getting more and more. If outside the cases are more, obviously it will be more in football clubs.
“We just have to be careful and hopefully everyone will pay a bit more attention over how we socialise from outside of the training facility.”
Eddie Howe banned his players from having a party due to a mixture of Covid concerns and their disappointing performances on the pitch.
He said: “I don’t think this moment is the time for the players to be having a Christmas party.
“We have had a gathering this week of staff and players, a meal together.
“But I don’t think with one, the fixture congestion, two, Covid and three, our league position, it is the time for that.
“I will be trying to get the message to them to focus on the work and the games. That takes priority over anything else.”
Pep Guardiola revealed earlier this month that the decision has already been taken to call it off, but he cannot control what the players do in their own homes.
He said: “I think the situation is different.
“The club every winter has a party for all the workers and we cancelled it, we cannot do it but if family and kids do it, be careful, today we have LFT and PCR (tests) and you can do it differently.
“Just be careful and that’s it – the risk is high. Look at Tottenham and Leicester. It can happen here too. It’s a big problem for them, the family and the team.”
Thomas Tuchel was ahead of the curve on the Christmas cull, having warned his players against partying back in November due to their hectic schedule.
He said: “Did you look at our schedule? There’s no chance. I know they will not go out when we have games every three days, it’s impossible.
“We will look into the schedule and try to give them days off as often as possible because it’s so rare.
“We just checked the whole schedule in December and finalised it on Friday — we will train on the 24th, 25th, it’s like this because we have an away game on the 26th.
“On January 2 we play Liverpool, so I know for sure that nobody will party hard.
“We have a game against Leeds on the December 11 and the Everton game on the following Thursday, so if we have the possibility to give one or two days off after the Leeds game we will do it because it’s important we take rests and very important to de-connect and recharge the batteries.
“But I would prefer they stay on the couch and don’t go out.”
Hornets boss Claudio Ranieri insisted those employed at Vicarage Road will be staying home this month and won’t be out socialising.
He told club media: “No, no no, we haven’t [had] a Christmas party. Never, never.
“We stay at home with our families, and we stay here together and we have all the restrictions areas. It’s okay. No, no, no, we are okay, at the moment.
“But, you know, Covid comes in every situation.”