Arsenal’s day has gone from bad to worse as they were forced to temporarily close their academy due to a positive COVID-19 test.
According to The Athletic, a senior member of staff from the youth setup went abroad and returned to Hale End before receiving their test result – which has since come back positive.
The club acted swiftly to close the facility until Friday at the earliest, alerting staff via email, and will now begin a track and trace operation.
It comes on the same day Gunners defender Kieran Tierney was forced into self-isolation due to close contact with Stuart Armstrong, who has the virus, on Scotland duty.
An Arsenal spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a member of staff from our Hale End Academy has tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test result arrived at 5pm today and the member of staff immediately left the site to self-isolate.
“As a consequence, six other members of staff are now self-isolating and we have initiated track and trace for the entire site. We are working through our CCTV and attendance records on site in order to continue the track and trace process.
“Our Hale End Academy will now be closed on Thursday 8 October for deep cleaning. After Thursday, we will review our coaching plans at Hale End accordingly and will keep all staff, parents and young players fully informed. The health and safety of everyone on all our sites is our paramount concern. No members of our men’s or women’s first-team squads have been affected.”
Arsenal vented their frustration earlier by releasing a statement questioning Tierney’s enforced period of self-isolation, which looks set to rule him out of the clash with Manchester City.
The Scotsman has tested negative and insists he followed all social distancing measures.