A leading Premier League broadcasting figure has branded those players who breached coronavirus rules over the festive period as 'disgusting and unacceptable' and suggests they should be sacked by their clubs.
A number of top-flight stars were caught attending or hosting events over the Christmas and New Year period which broke national guidelines on households mixing.
Among them was Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy, who hosted a New Year's Eve party and three Tottenham players - Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon - who celebrated Christmas together with West Ham's Manuel Lanzini.
Three Spurs stars and a West Ham player (identified above) broke rules to party despite Covid-19 restrictions in place over the Christmas periodInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Although each club has condemned their players' actions, none have been stopped from playing with Reguilon involved for Tottenham against Brentford on Tuesday night and Mendy on the bench for City at Chelsea last weekend.
But an unnamed individual within a large Premier League TV rights holder, which are shared between Sky, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC domestically, has hit out at the players and their clubs, claiming the players should be sacked for such a blatant breach of the Government's guidelines.
Benjamin Mendy was blatant in throwing his own New Year's Eve party, and didn't hide it from Instagram
They said: 'Our view is that some of the behaviour has been disgusting and unacceptable.
'If any of your colleagues broke the rules and endangered lives - forget the commercial damage - they would be fired.
'Never mind that ordinary people pay players' bills. Why should players be treated any differently? If anything there should be greater repercussions on them due to their privileged position and onus of responsibility.
'It can mean planned broadcasts having to be shut down at the last minute and having to be rescheduled for later on. The more that conduct continues, the longer period of time ultimately there could be without football and without fans, and the longer the product looks different.
'All this disruption is caused by people who ultimately we as broadcasters are paying a huge amount of money to. I have never understood why some players think they're immune from the rules the rest of society is expected to follow.'
None of the incidents are believed to have resulted in any player or staff member subsequently testing positive for Covid-19 but the potential for it to cause disruption to the match schedule and ultimately the completion of the season is obvious, never mind the public health impact.