Neil Humphreys: EPL Covid-19 madness can’t go on much longer
Money can't justify last-minute fixture swops and weak line-ups
In the latest round of Covid-19 tests, the English Premier League confirmed 36 positive cases.
That's more than Singapore's tally for yesterday at 17.
And yet, in this upside-down existence masquerading as reality, the Little Red Dot is still treating anyone that removes a mask in public with the disgust typically reserved for a serial killer.
While the EPL continues to push its weary cash cows up an ever-steepening hill in the hope that no one notices the occasional cliff plunge.
The world's most popular league merrily skipped over its moral quandary many weeks ago. Now it's hurtling towards the grotesque.
At what point will the EPL put a stop to the increasing chaos?
The depressing, inevitable answer is there probably isn't one. Like coronavirus-infected lemmings, the game's participants will be shoved towards that cliff, unless the British government intervenes.
Just look at the latest attempt to wilfully ignore the encroaching crisis. Tomorrow morning, Tottenham Hotspur will host a bewildered and tired Fulham at two days' notice.
Spurs' opponents were supposed to be Aston Villa, but the Villans' dressing room and Covid-19 are like MRT stations and those Shopee ads. There's no escape. It's everywhere.
Dean Smith's stricken men tried to do their bit for TV broadcasters last week, when nine first-team players tested positive.
Villa sent out youths and Under-23s against Liverpool in the FA Cup. First-team experience was not essential. Even puberty seemed optional. Not surprisingly, the gallant kids were hammered.
Finally, Villa waved a white flag ahead of the Spurs game.
And that should have been the moment. That was the opportunity for the EPL to intervene and do the right thing, joining the rest of the country in a temporary lockdown until safety and sanity prevailed.
But, no, there are financial obligations to fulfil and TV times to reschedule. The EPL threw out one domino and replaced it with another.
Fulham will stand in for Villa against Tottenham in a fixture that was rearranged only after Cottagers coach Scott Parker had sent out his best XI in the FA Cup.
Fulham needed extra time to beat Queens Park Rangers. Parker may need a sedative to handle the sudden bout of fixture congestion.
Thankfully, the EPL released a wonderfully tone-deaf statement to clarify the fixture juggling.
"With the health of players and staff the priority, the League continues to work with Aston Villa," the statement read, before wishing "those with Covid-19 a full and swift recovery" and promising to "rearrange Aston Villa's game against Tottenham as soon as possible".
In other words, health is a priority, but the season isn't stopping, even if the new variant has burrowed through the EPL bubble. So here's wishing a speedy recovery to anyone at Villa afflicted with Covid-19, because they've got to play Spurs soon.
There were more conflicting signals than a tweet from a Trump offspring.
While the EPL scrambles to move the furniture around a burning building, the English Football Association intends to remind all clubs to adhere to the strict coronavirus protocols.
At the weekend, victorious players hugged and celebrated in their dressing rooms like it was 2019 and supporters of non-League Marine gathered in large numbers outside their Merseyside stadium.
England, remember, is in the middle of a national lockdown. On average, there are more than 900 people dying a day from Covid-19 complications, across the UK.
But the EPL's insistence that life goes on as normal, when nothing is normal for anyone living outside of the EPL bubble, is seriously testing the boundaries of civic responsibility now.
Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo believes the EPL has a moral obligation to continue as a shutdown would hurt smaller clubs and hasten the arrival of a European Super League.
While his intentions are honourable, Santo's argument is contradictory. He's putting the economic cost ahead of the human cost.
As British hospitals run out of beds and healthcare workers reach breaking point, it's a tad difficult to worry about the financial ramifications of a European Super League at the moment.
Surely, there is a greater moral obligation to stop vulnerable people from dying.