Update from Paul Barber

Albion’s deputy chairman and chief executive on the postponement of the Premier League.

By Alex Stedman • 13 March 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman Paul Barber.

Paul Barber has backed the Premier League’s decision to postpone matches until 4th April. 

Albion’s scheduled game with Arsenal on Saturday was called off on Thursday evening after Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for the coronavirus, and the league have since suspended all matches until the start of next month.

In an interview with MyAlbion TV, Barber reflected on a range of topical talking points during this uncertain time for the game. 

He said, “It’s absolutely the right decision, we have to prioritise people’s health.

“It’s a situation that’s changing by the hour and the Premier League have been working really hard with the FA and the EFL to try and support the government wherever possible.

“But last night's events overtook everybody, and we had to take a different decision than we perhaps would have done 24 hours ago. We have to be as ready as we can to respond to whatever happens next.”


MA+ members & STH only - Log-in required

An existing MyAlbion+ membership or season ticket is needed to view this content. Please note that new memberships take 24 hours to be active to view, registering today for Luton Town match streaming will not be valid in time.

Barber on coronavirus situation

Barber also provided an update on what supporters with tickets for upcoming matches should do and thanked the fans for their patience in challenging circumstances.

“We’d like to thank the fans for being as patient as they have been. It’s been a difficult few weeks for everybody. 

“People should keep hold on to the tickets that they’ve got, and we’ll contact them as soon as we have an idea of what’s happening going forward. 

“At the moment, though, our intention is to fulfil our fixtures and so supporters should wait for us to communicate further.”

Also on the agenda was the precautionary measures being taken at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, as well as confirmation that as of Friday afternoon no staff had shown any symptoms of the virus. 

“We’ve done as much as we can to lock down our training ground and have suspended all academy activities under the age of 16,” added Barber.

“As of today [Friday], all games involving both under-18 and under-23 sides are also suspended. 

“We’ve done as much as we can and have sent home staff both at the training ground and the stadium who don’t need to be in the office. If people do report as sick, show symptoms of the coronavirus or have come into contact with someone who has the virus then there are plans in place.

“We’ve been fortunate so far that we haven’t had any cases amongst our players or our first team staff – and all of our players throughout the club are fit and well. We hope that continues.”