Premier League players have brought in a self-imposed ban on using camera phones at their Christmas parties.
The top-flight stars are taking steps to avoid their own festive PR disasters in the week that the Government came under fire after footage of Downing Street officials joking about a party during last year’s restrictions.
As Covid rates increase, some clubs have even decided against organising parties due to the ongoing crisis. Watford are among those who did not entertain the idea of arranging any festivities, and it is understood Wolves have shelved plans for a players’ lunch.
Premier League players will be leaving their phones at home for Christmas parties
Watford boss Claudio Ranieri said: ‘We haven’t had a Christmas party. We stay at home with our family. We have all restricted areas here but you know that Covid comes in every situation.’
While there are fewer rules for socialising in place than last year, Sportsmail understands that some players have still insisted that camera phones are kept away to prevent footage getting out into the public domain.
Some clubs have managed to hold their Christmas gatherings already.
With Covid rates on the rise, football wants to avoid a PR disaster in the festive season
One had two days in Edinburgh, another an overnight stay in London and players from a third enjoyed a night out together in the middle of last month.
Elsewhere, celebrations have been scaled back, with team training ground lunches or dinners out arranged rather than the once-traditional wild nights on the town.
When asked about whether Aston Villa would have a party, new manager Steven Gerrard said: ‘Social events aren’t a priority at the moment. Winning games and moving up the table are the only things I’m focused on right now.’