Burnley at one stage had four games in hand during the 2021-22 season

Premier League clubs must present “truly exceptional” reasons to have requests for Covid-related postponements granted next season.

Clubs must also have taken “all reasonable steps” to avoid submitting an application, the league said.

Last season was badly affected by postponements, leading to an imbalance in matches played across the division.

Some clubs were criticised for using loopholes regarding the number of players required to call matches off.

With the easing of restrictions across society, English football’s top-flight is eager to ensure next term progresses as smoothly as possible.

On the eve of their fixtures being released the Premier League has revised its guidance around what it would take for a game to be called off.

If a club has 10 outfield players and a goalkeeper available from its squad list, or has 15 contracted outfield players and a goalkeeper, it should play.

In the case of injured players, full documentation around their injury has to be submitted.

Meanwhile, for those testing positive for coronavirus, the date of the positive test and when symptoms first developed will have to be shown.

“Applications will only be granted where the impact of player unavailability on a club’s squad is truly exceptional and where the club concerned has taken all reasonable steps available to avoid the necessity to make the application,” said the Premier League.

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