Tottenham Hotspur have released a statement on Saturday evening, confirming their frustration with the Premier League’s decision to postpone the club’s scheduled showdown with Arsenal.
The headline news across the English football landscape this afternoon of course came in the form of the announcement that this weekend’s North London Derby would not be going ahead.
After Arsenal, on Friday, lodged an official request to have the fixture pushed back, the Premier League agreed to as much just 24 hours prior to the planned kick-off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
‘Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January,’ an official statement confirmed.
It was subsequently revealed that the Premier League’s decision had come as a result of ‘having fewer than the required number of players available for the match.’
This comes with Mikel Arteta currently unable to call on the likes of Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Granit Xhaka, owing to a combination of all of injury, Covid-19, AFCON commitments and suspension.
And now, as alluded to above, on Saturday evening, those in a position of power on the other half of north London have too provided their take on the Premier League’s latest postponement call.
Evidently, however, the Lilywhites are altogether less pleased with the outcome of Arsenal’s appeal than their capital rivals.
In a statement of their own, released across the club’s social media platforms, Tottenham have made clear their disillusionment with the situation, admitting that the club have been left ‘extremely surprised’ with the call.
Taking aim at Arsenal and the Premier League alike in one fell swoop, Spurs’ statement outlined that:
We are extremely surprised that this application has been approved.
We ourselves were disqualified from the European Conference League after a significant number of COVID cases meant we needed to reschedule a fixture and our application to move our Leicester fixture was not approved – only for it to be subsequently postponed when Leicester applied.
The original intention of the guidance – here – was to deal with player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads that when taken together with injuries would result in the club being unable to field a team.
We do not believe it was the intent to deal with player availability unrelated to COVID.
We may now be seeing the unintended consequences of this rule.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 15, 2022