Coronavirus: Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid and Cheltenham Festival ‘led to spike’ in coronavirus deaths

Liverpool’s Champions League home match against Atletico Madrid and the Cheltenham Festival contributed to an increase in coronavirus deaths in the UK, a scientist has said.

Professor Tim Spector, from King’s College London, said the two events held in March had “caused increased suffering and death that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred”.

He said data from an app used to report COVID-19 symptoms showed that Cheltenham and the North West both became “key hotspots” for the coronavirus.

Despite several European countries and cities already being in lockdown by the time the sports fixtures took place, Prime Minister Boris Johnson waited until 23 March to announce his own “stay at home” message in the UK.

More than 251,000 people attended the Cheltenham Festival from March 16-19 this year – a drop of nearly 15,000 compared to 2019.

Liverpool’s exit from the last-16 of the Champions League on March 11 was watched by around 52,000 people inside Anfield, including 3,000 visiting supporters who had travelled from Madrid – where such events had already been suspended.

By the time Mr Johnson ordered the lockdown, the number of coronavirus cases in the UK stood at 6,650 and the number of deaths was 336.

Since then, nearly 37,000 people have died in the UK after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and there have been more than 262,000 cases.

Last month, Liverpool City Council announced plans to jointly investigate the spread of the virus in Merseyside, alongside the University of Liverpool and John Moores University, following the match.

Professor Spector, who works in genetic epidemiology research, said: “Two weeks after the Cheltenham Festival and the Liverpool game against Atletico Madrid, we saw the number of people reporting COVID symptoms in the COVID Symptom Study app from those particular areas increase and both areas became key hotspots in the UK.

“This suggests that both events were, in part, a cause for the spread of COVID-19 in those areas.”

Data from the Kings College study shows a higher number of cases in Cheltenham and Liverpool compared to their surrounding areas from 22 March to 29 March.

Liverpool City Council’s director of public health Matthew Ashton is convinced the game against Atletico Madrid should not have gone ahead.

But the government believes the events took place within “clear guidance” given at the time.

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Pep Guardiola delighted with Man City fitness as Premier League nears potential return

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is delighted with the fitness of his players as the Premier League nears a return, with clubs expected to give the go-ahead to the introduction of phase two of training on Wednesday.

If phase two is agreed, there are hopes that a return to competition could be agreed by the end of the week as champions City trail leaders Liverpool by 25 points, with the Reds likely to win their first top-flight title since 1990.

Key week for the Premier League

Monday: Next twice-weekly round of COVID-19 testing begins, continuing into Tuesday, with results expected on Wednesday.

Tuesday: Premier League will discuss updated government advice on contact training with club captains, managers and representatives from PFA and LMA.

Wednesday: Premier League clubs will vote on whether to resume contact training.

Thursday: Clubs meet again to discuss broader details of Project Restart – including how curtailment of the season would look.

City, who have 10 games remaining, returned to training last week for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak in March, which froze football in England and across the world.

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Guardiola, who led City to a domestic treble last season, told the club’s website that his players “came back perfectly”.

“Yeah, really good,” he said about his squad’s fitness. “I think they were looking forward to coming back and to train again and do what they like.

“They came back perfectly. We follow the rules, the protocol. We have to. That’s the most important thing. We don’t do anything special.”

The Spaniard also took the opportunity to praise key workers during the ongoing pandemic, while insisting football fans must remain patient ahead of a potential return to top-flight action.

“The special ones are the doctors, nurses, scientists, cleaners – they put their own lives at risk to save ours,” he added.

“When it’s a special situation around the world, you have to adapt. I think all the fans around the world are waiting to watch football. We want to come back but now the priority is other things.

“It [the message] is still ‘stay safe, be careful, and when everything is possible we will come back’. First, I think without them, but hopefully we come back to a routine.

“But now the most important thing is to follow the instructions. If they say use a mask, stay at home, social distance… we have to do it. Because there are many, many people in the NHS who put their own lives at risk to save ours.”

PL return date could be agreed by end of the week

A Premier League return date could be agreed by the end of the week, with clubs expected to approve phase two of training on Wednesday.

The league has received government approval to progress to the next stage of Project Restart, enabling competitive and close-contact training, including tackling, in groups of up to 12 players.

Players and managers will have the chance to discuss any remaining concerns over phase two when they hold separate video calls with the Premier League on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, clubs will then vote on whether to move to the next stage of training, which could be introduced at training grounds before the end of this week.

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Glyn Pardoe: Former Manchester City defender dies aged 73

Glyn Pardoe, a member of Manchester City’s 1968 league-winning side, has died at the age of 73, the Premier League club have announced.

Pardoe spent his entire playing career with City between 1962 and 1976, and scored the winning goal in the 1970 League Cup final.

“Everyone at City is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Glyn Pardoe,” City wrote on Twitter.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to his friends and family at this difficult time.”

Forever my hero! I love you so much. Rest easy 💙

Pardoe remains the youngest player to turn out for City, having made his debut against Birmingham in April 1962 at the age of 15 years and 341 days old.

The left-back went on to make 380 appearances for the club during their successful period in the late 1960s, winning the league title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969, and the League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.

But Pardoe broke his leg in a tackle with George Best during a Manchester derby in 1970 and struggled to regain his place in the side after a lengthy lay-off. He later took up a coaching position with the club after retiring from playing.

City was a family affair for Pardoe, whose cousin Alan Oakes was a team-mate throughout his playing days.

Pardoe’s daughter Charlotte is married to Scott Doyle, the son of Pardoe’s late team-mate Mike Doyle, and both men were grandfathers to Tommy Doyle, the 18-year-old midfielder who made his debut for City in a 3-1 League Cup win over Southampton in October last year.

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Arsenal 1989: The making of the team that won the title at Anfield 31 years ago

It was hailed as the greatest climax to the title race in English football history. May 26, 1989, the night Arsenal snatched the title from Liverpool with virtually the last kick of the season. 

It was the last match of the 1988/89 season. Arsenal, three points behind leaders Liverpool, had to win by two clear goals to clinch the title, and 18 million viewers tuned in to see who would be crowned champions.

  • Anfield ’89: ‘We’ll never see the like again’
  • ‘It’s up for grabs now…’

What transpired would go down in English footballing folklore as Arsenal dreams were realised in thrilling fashion thanks to Michael Thomas’ stoppage-time clincher.

Thirty-one years on, this is the story of those involved on that unforgettable night at Anfield and how plans to forever immortalise the match culminated with creation of the documentary ’89’.

‘The pressure was on’

The scale of the task placed in front of Arsenal was at best sizeable and at worst nigh-on impossible. The all-conquering Liverpool side of the 1980s simply didn’t lose at Anfield, let alone by the two-goal margin Arsenal required.

“They were just rattling off win after win after win and they weren’t 1-0 wins, they were winning convincingly by three or four,” Arsenal midfielder Thomas said. “They had the whole of the nation behind them – and rightly so – and the pressure was on us.”

Hillsborough tribute

The last few weeks of the 1988/89 season had been overshadowed by the tragedy at Hillsborough, meaning the meeting of the two title rivals was postponed until the end of May.

Before a ball had even been kicked at Anfield, Arsenal ensured they paid their respects to the 96 supporters who sadly lost their lives, as Gunners manager George Graham recalls.

“It was a great gesture by Ken Friar, one of the bosses at Arsenal, to have the players go out with a bouquet of flowers and throw them to the Liverpool fans. It was a fantastic gesture.”

All square at half-time

Though the first half was keenly contested there were few clear-cut chances. Both sides seemed reluctant to over-commit as they went into the interval with the scoreline locked at 0-0, and it was all part of the tactical master plan of Graham and Arsenal.

“Everybody was telling me that you’ve got to go up there and, from the word go, go out and attack them,” Graham said. “I said ‘no, we’ll try to be cautious’. The only thing I didn’t expect was that Liverpool would think the same.

“I said they’re going to be nervous if we score and they’re going to have to come at us. I said we’ll then get the second and, with a bit of luck, we might even get three. Anyway, they all looked at me as if I was crazy!”

Free-kick routine pays off for Smith

Early in the second half Arsenal were awarded a free kick outside the Liverpool penalty area, as Alan Smith recalls.

“We practised that free kick so much in training and used it so many times in matches but it never came off,” Smith said. “We thought ‘oh no – we’re not going to try this one again!'”

This time it did work. Smith converted Nigel Winterburn’s delivery with a glancing header. Liverpool’s players surrounded the referee in protest.

“We were all convinced that the referee was going to disallow it having spoken to the linesman,” Smith added. “When he’s pointed to the centre circle you’re thinking ‘wow, we’ve got the first goal here’.”

A missed opportunity?

Arsenal feared their chance had come and gone when Thomas prodded a shot straight at the Liverpool ‘keeper Bruce Grobbelaar late on.

“I thought I had players both sides of me,” Thomas recalls. “I see it now on the TV and I had plenty of time to bury it. I panicked. I didn’t panic the second time!”

‘It’s up for grabs now’

Luckily for Arsenal, and Thomas, they had one final opportunity. Goalkeeper John Lukic threw the ball to Lee Dixon in space. Dixon’s pass out of defence then found Smith, who brought the ball down with exquisite control before lofting it forward in search of Thomas.

“I’ve just seen this yellow blur in my peripheral vision,” Smith said. “It was Michael making one of those barnstorming runs.”

When the ball bounced kindly for him via a deflection from Steve Nicol, Thomas found himself through on Grobbelaar’s goal, as the midfielder recalls.

“It was slow motion then, it’s still slow motion now. I don’t watch it enough. When I do see it if I’m round someone’s house I walk out the room. It’s still a tingly moment in my whole body, and I’m thinking ‘he’s going to get you, he’s going to get you, Ray Houghton is going to tackle you, he’s getting closer…’

“Then, as I said before, I’m thinking about Bruce [Grobbelaar], how great a goalkeeper he was, and I waited for him to make the first move. Once he did that, that was me, I knew what I was doing.”

Retro Blog: Liverpool 0-1 Arsenal

How Arsenal’s title triumph unfolded…


90+1: Barnes drives into the Arsenal penalty area as the Gunners ferociously hunt the ball down.

It’s exactly where Liverpool want the ball as they look to hold on to claim the Championship.

Richardson eventually gets a foot to the ball to get the ball back to Lukic. There can only be seconds remaining. Arsenal need a goal…


90+2: Arsenal stream forward. Is this to be Arsenal’s final attack? It must be…

Lukic bowls the ball out to Dixon. Dixon clips an excellent ball to Smith, who is 40 yards from the Liverpool goal. As he’s done all evening, he holds the ball up brilliantly, taking a touch before hoisting the ball forward.

Thomas takes the ball in his stride. He charges through the midfield, evading the challenge of Nicol. The midfielder’s in on goal… IT’S UP FOR GRABS NOW…

GOAL! LIVERPOOL 0-2 ARSENAL (Thomas, 90+2)


He bursts into the penalty area, takes one touch and faints to shoot before lifting the ball over the on-rushing Grobbelaar and into the back of the net.

There are wild celebrations. There’s a forward roll and a jog on the floor from Thomas, while Winterburn runs away from his team-mates to celebrate with the Arsenal fans.

There’s carnage on the pitch. There’s carnage in the away end. There’s carnage on the Arsenal bench. I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again.

It’s Arsenal who are now just seconds away from winning the Championship.

‘A very proud moment’

Thomas lifted the ball over Grobbelaar. Arsenal had their two-goal lead. Liverpool had no time to react. At the final whistle George Graham’s side celebrated Arsenal’s first league title triumph since 1971, and it’s a proud moment for all involved.

“I feel very proud about that moment, what I’ve achieved in the game and the fact that I achieved it with the players I grew up with in the Arsenal youth team,” Thomas said. “The only person I miss to share that moment with is David Rocastle because we grew up playing schoolboy football together in south London schools. Sadly he passed but we miss him deeply – very deeply.”

Smith added: “I remember sitting back in the dressing room, sipping on a little cup of champagne and somebody said `lads, we might as well retire now, it’s never going to get any better than this. And when you think about it, it’s not. How can it get any better that that?”

The making of ’89’

To mark the 31st anniversary of their title-winning triumph, former Arsenal team-mates Alan Smith, Paul Merson and Lee Dixon, who was an executive producer for ’89’, sat down with Geoff Shreeves to explain the importance of documenting that unforgettable night at Anfield…

‘The greatest story never told’

Alan Smith: “Up until the point the documentary had been made, it was the greatest story that had never been told. When you start talking about it again, you remember things you thought you had forgotten, you see the boys and they tell you their memories and that triggers something in your mind. It was special to all of us

“It’s something that could never be repeated. To go back to those days, which were a long time ago, and the way in which the film got a sense of the 1980s was great. We were delighted it came out so brilliantly well and captured drama of not only the night but the season as well.”

‘Aguero moment doesn’t compare’

Paul Merson: “I was pleased when I got the call to do a couple of interviews for the documentary because I felt the game had been brushed under the carpet a bit. It wasn’t appreciated as much as it should have been, Arsenal should have marked it every time it came around.

“To be the best team of the time was such a massive thing. It will never be done again. People talk about the Sergio Aguero situation, but it doesn’t even add up to it. [In 89] it was two of the top teams, first versus second, on the final game of the season.

“You’ve only got to look at the league fixtures now to know it will never be done again, you’ll never get Liverpool vs Manchester City on the last day of the season. That will never happen and that’s why it will never be done again.

“There was such camaraderie in that team. When we got on that pitch together, everybody worked hard for each other. I’m very grateful that the documentary was made because we’ve got memories now. The film came out and we’ve also got that to show to the kids and grandchildren.”

‘Documentary applies colour to the painting’

Lee Dixon: “The Aguero moment was an unbelievable situation, but when people start talking about it in the same way as ’89, I glaze over. If you compare the two, game by game, the importance of each game, they are not even in the same ballpark. That moment at Anfield will never happen again as long as we are on this planet, that is what makes it so special.

“Making the documentary was brilliant because I had my own memories, my own version of what happened on the night, but we would ask the lads what they thought about all of the subjects we covered, and they were slightly different.

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Havertz should expect Premier League interest, says Berbatov

‘It is no surprise Liverpool want him’: Kai Havertz should expect Premier League interest after his stunning displays for Bayer Leverkusen, says Dimitar Berbatov… but former striker warns him to stay put for now

  • Kai Havertz’s impressive form continued as the Bundesliga returned last week
  • The 20-year-old scored twice in Bayer Leverkusen’s win against Werder Bremen
  • The midfielder has attracted interest from Liverpool, Chelsea and Man Utd 
  • But Dimitar Berbatov believes Havertz should stay in Germany for the time being 

Kai Havertz deserves to be linked with top Premier League clubs according to Dimitar Berbatov, but he has warned the German star to stay at Bayer Leverkusen for the time being. 

Attacking midfielder Havertz has shone for his club this season, and scored twice in a 4-1 victory against Werder Bremen on Monday night as the Bundesliga returned last week. 

His impressive form and eye-catching set of skills has seen him linked with moves to Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United in recent months and while not surprised by the speculation, former Leverkusen striker Berbatov has urged the 20-year-old to stay put for now.  

Kai Havertz is one of Europe’s hottest properties and has been linked with the Premier League

Former Leverkusen striker Dimitar Berbatov is not surprised by all the speculation

Statistics in all competitions according to Transfermarkt 

‘Havertz needs to get used to the sounds that are being made about him following his two goals on Monday night because teams are going to come after him,’ Berbatov told Betfair. 

‘He has enough quality and if he continues the way he is going teams will still be there, they won’t go away.

‘All eyes are on the Bundesliga at the moment and when you score goals and play good football it is no surprise that teams like Liverpool want you.’ 

Havertz has scored eight goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances this season, with Leverkusen currently fifth in the table. 

As of Saturday morning before the second week of Bundesliga fixtures got underway, Leverkusen are eight points off leaders Bayern, but just one point off Red Bull Leipzig a spot ahead in fourth – they play third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday afternoon. 

Havertz continues to impress for Leverkusen, who are fifth in the Bundesliga, this season

Havertz scored twice against Werder Bremen, taking his season tally to 12 in all competitions

‘I would like to see Havertz in the Premier League at some point, but not right now,’ Berbatov, who moved from Germany to England in 2006 at the age of 25, continued. 

‘I think it is a bit too early for him. I also think he will need a bit more muscle to play in the Premier League, we all know how defenders can squash you and smash you into pieces and you need to be ready for that if you are going to hit the ground running in such a demanding league.

‘I think he should stay at Leverkusen and develop even more and get that experience which will help him for when the time comes to go somewhere else.’ 

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Mauricio Pochettino: Former Tottenham boss remains open to Premier League return

Mauricio Pochettino says he would be open to managing a Premier League club outside the top six and is eager to return to management either in England or abroad.

The Argentine, who left Tottenham last November, is a target for Newcastle and was also linked with a host of other club jobs across Europe during his time at Spurs.

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“I love England,” Pochettino told Sky Sports News. “My idea is to keep living in London but at the same time, I am open to different countries, to listen and see what happens.

“I am ready and we are a much better coaching staff now. We have learnt a lot from our experiences at Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham. We have a lot to provide to the people that will trust in us in the future.”

Asked about Newcastle, and what are the key factors he is looking for in his next project, Pochettino was clear, adding: “I need to behave in the way that I did on my first day as a coach.

“There are two things that are most important – one is the people, the fans that are behind every club. That is the structure that keeps alive all the companies that provide the entertainment that is football. The other is the ideas of the clubs.

“Every single club and company have different cultures, different philosophies, different ways of working. They all have different plans for success.

“To be successful at one club you need to win the Champions League or Premier League, but for others it is to finish in the top four or six. For Tottenham, it was to build a new stadium and at the same time create a team to compete and cut the gap to the top four.

“Every single club has different aims and you as a coaching staff need to stick to these ideas. In the end, when we are waiting for a new offer, and we are capable of providing what a club expects from us, we are going to be very happy.”

So would he consider a job at a club outside the top six in the Premier League?

“The problem is which clubs are top six?” he replies. “The top six always changes. Tottenham is not in the top six, Arsenal is not in the top six.

“You need to respect all the clubs. All the clubs are working so hard and investing money. Every season clubs have ambition to be top six or top four. I don’t think you can underestimate any club.”

‘I can’t put a timeframe on my return’

With his gardening leave period now over, Spurs are no longer due compensation from any club interested in Pochettino. So, is he ready to return?

“I was ready before now,” he explains. “The most important thing in football is to move on quickly, to adapt to the new reality.

“Of course it is painful when you leave a club after five and a half years, working so hard to develop and achieve objectives. We are full of energy in our bodies, in our minds, to try and provide a new project with all our knowledge and show our passion in football.”

With coronavirus extending the season, it remains unclear when a new campaign will start. For Pochettino, it’s difficult to put a time frame on his return to the dugout.

“I don’t know. In football, every minute counts,” the Argentine adds “The most important thing is we are ready. We are open to listen and see what happens. But at the moment, who knows when we are going to be back in football again.

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How the Premier League will be kitted out next season

Liverpool’s huge £70m Nike contract gives them the top deal to match their team, Everton are keeping it retro with cult classic Hummel… but will new pretenders like Castore snap any clubs going free? How the Premier League will be kitted out next season

  • Liverpool will be wearing Nike next season after sealing a record-breaking deal 
  • After legal battle with New Balance, a £70m-a-year agreement will go through
  • Everton have also struck a new partner, having swapped Umbro for Hummel 
  • Newcastle and Watford are both currently without a kit deal for 2020-21 season 

Liverpool will start next season in Nike shirts thanks to the biggest kit deal in Premier League history in the latest indication of a powershift at the top of the English game.

Having been given the green light after winning their court battle against New Balance, their £70m-a-year deal will commence this summer, trumping the current biggest agreement held between Manchester United and Adidas.

It is the surest sign yet that the tide is turning with regard to commercial appeal in the top flight, but it is not just at the top where clubs are improving their income through kit manufacturers.

Liverpool stars are set to be kitted out in Nike next season after the club struck a record deal

On the other side of Merseyside Everton have announced their next venture, swapping Umbro for Hummel and a £10m-a-year contract.

‘It is really important that we drive maximum value from our commercial deals and this is a Club-record deal for a technical partnership for Everton,’ said Denise Barret-Baxendale, the chief executive, emphasising the significance of their deal.

It makes the Toffees the first club outside of the traditional Big Six to reach eight figures a season for their manufacturer contract.

Everton will also  be wearing a new manufacturer, after swapping Umbro for Hummel

Despite that, they are still some way off catching up with the division’s leaders.

Manchester United, who held the record until Liverpool’s groundbreaking deal, still command £75m a season from their contract with adidas. That deal is in place until 2025.

Behind them are rivals Manchester City, with the reigning Premier League champions’ deal with Puma worth £65m a year in a partnership that will continue up until 2029.

With the Reds deal with Nike, City will be the only team in the Big Six next campaign to not have a contract in place with neither the American brand or adidas.

Manchester United’s deal with adidas had previously been the most expensive in the league

Manchester City are one of the top earners, with their Puma deal worth £65million a year

Nike will still have their deals in place with both Chelsea and Tottenham, the former holding an agreement until 2032 worth £60m each term, while the latter’s is worth £30m, going up until 2033.

Arsenal’s £60m-a-year contract with adidas runs up until 2024.

With so many long-term deals in place, there is little room for competition to disrupt the monopoly held by the two sports manufacturing giants at the top of the Premier League.

It creates an interesting conundrum for the likes of Castore, a luxury sports brand that has set its sights on challenging Nike and adidas in arenas such as England’s top flight.

Castore founders Tom (left) and Phil Beahon (right) have stated their ambition to work with Premier League sides

The company’s founders have already expressed their desire to work with top-flight sides in the next two years.

With a desire to work with teams challenging for trophies and Europe, there are options on the horizon.

Newcastle United could appear an appetising venture should their pending takeover be finalised, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, with their current deal with Puma expiring this summer.

Watford are also in the same position, with their adidas deal expiring at the end of this season.

Newcastle United will be in the market for a new manufacturer with their Puma deal expiring

Watford’s agreement with adidas is also set to expire this summer and will need a new partner


1.  Liverpool – £80m per year, Nike (contract expires: N/A)

2. Man United – £75m, adidas (2025)

3. Man City – £65m, Puma (2029)

4. Arsenal – £60m, adidas (2024)

5. Chelsea –  £60m, Nike (2032)

6. Tottenham – £30m, Nike (2033)

7. Everton – £10m, Hummel (2023)  

8. Southampton – £9m, Under Armour (2023) 

9. Newcastle – £6.5m, Puma (2020)

10. West Ham – £5m, Umbro (2023)

11. Crystal Palace – £4m, Puma (N/A)

12= Aston Villa – £3m, Kappa (2022)

12= Leicester City – £3m, adidas (N/A)

12= Wolves – £3m, adidas (2022)

15. Norwich – £2.5m, errea (2024)

16= Brighton – £1.5m, Nike (2022)

16= Burnley – £1.5m, Umbro (2022)

18. Bournemouth – £1m, Umbro (2022)

19= Sheff Utd – £750k, adidas (2021)

19=  Watford – £750k, adidas (2020) 

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Serge Aurier: Tottenham investigating defender for lockdown breach

Tottenham are investigating after Serge Aurier appeared to break social distancing rules for a third time by getting a haircut in lockdown.

The 27-year-old right-back posted a picture on Instagram on Tuesday night showing off his new looks and tagging the stylist – barber Justin Carr – in his post.

  • Premier League clubs return to training
  • Rose: PL players being treated like lab rats

“Yes Sir @justscuts #LeCoiffeurEstBon??” Aurier wrote.

Yes Sir 🤭💧🔥 @justscuts 🤝 #LeCoiffeurEstBon🤓

A post shared by Thecrazychild93 (@sergeaurier) on

Aurier then responded to criticism of his actions with a further post.

After writing “Bla-bla-bla” followed by several snoozing emojis in a post on Instagram Stories, Aurier wrote: “My hairdresser is negative and me too so stop talking in a vacuum and put on masks and gloves when you come to take pictures at the training centre it’s part of the rules too”.

A Tottenham statement said: “We are investigating the circumstances and will deal with the incident appropriately.”

Aurier has previously been forced to apologise twice for breaking lockdown rules, having posted a video of himself running with a friend, and also training with Tottenham team-mate Moussa Sissoko.

Both players apologised for “not setting the right example” by disregarding government advice and pledged to make a donation to the NHS.

Spurs were also criticised last month when head coach Jose Mourinho was seen taking a training session in a north London park with Tanguy Ndombele, while Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were spotted running together.

Spurs were forced to remind staff about social distancing rules after Mourinho was pictured with Ndombele on Hadley Common in Barnet, north London.

Prior to posting about his new haircut, Aurier had shared a short video of his return to training on Tuesday as players began solo sessions for the first time.

Aurier joins list of footballers to break rules

The Spurs defender is not the only Premier League player to break lockdown rules more than once. Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has broken social distancing guidelines twice.

He was reprimanded in April after it was widely reported he held a party at his home.

The England defender also admitted wrongdoing earlier this month after reports he visited his sister and parents in Sheffield.

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Serge Aurier: Tottenham launch investigation as defender appears to break lockdown rules for third time

Tottenham are investigating after Serge Aurier appeared to break social distancing rules for a third time by getting a haircut in lockdown.

The 27-year-old right-back posted a picture on Instagram on Tuesday night showing off his new looks and tagging the stylist – barber Justin Carr – in his post.

  • Premier League clubs return to training
  • Rose: PL players being treated like lab rats

“Yes Sir @justscuts #LeCoiffeurEstBon??” Aurier wrote.

Yes Sir 🤭💧🔥 @justscuts 🤝 #LeCoiffeurEstBon🤓

A post shared by Thecrazychild93 (@sergeaurier) on

A Tottenham statement said: “We are investigating the circumstances and will deal with the incident appropriately.”

Aurier has previously been forced to apologise twice for breaking lockdown rules, having posted a videos of himself running with a friend, and also training with Tottenham team-mate Moussa Sissoko.

Spurs were also criticised last month when head coach Jose Mourinho was seen taking a training session in a north London park with Tanguy Ndombele, while Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were spotted running together.

Spurs were forced to remind staff about social distancing rules after Mourinho was pictured with Ndombele on Hadley Common in Barnet, north London.

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