Which A-League Men’s team has been most affected by Covid?

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For over two years, Covid has wreaked havoc on everyone and everything, meaning the A-Leagues have not been spared. But which A-League Men’s team has been most affected by the pandemic?

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The emergence of the Omicron variant has created further Covid chaos across Australia and after an already disrupted 2020/21 season, the 2021/22 campaign has already been heavily impacted.

After the start of the new season was already delayed as a result of Covid, the competition has been hampered by dozens of players testing positive for the virus and a resulting large number of games being postponed.

Whilst the A-League Women’s competition has also been similarly impacted with a number of games postponed and players testing positive, the following report will focus solely on the Men’s competition.

In order to assess which team has been most affected by Covid, the following data sets will be examined:

  • Number of games postponed
  • Number of players infected
  • Time since last played

Number of games postponed

With the competition looking set to continue as normal despite ongoing cases, a significant number of games have now been postponed, creating an ever-expanding backlog of catch up.

In terms of individual clubs and the number of games they have had postponed, sitting on top of the ladder is Perth Glory with six postponements. Just behind Glory sit Melbourne City, Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar with five games postponed each.

At the bottom end of the postponed ladder, we have Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at two games.

Of course, postponed games are going to influence where a club is sitting on the current leadership ladder as no matches equals no points.

Perth Glory, who have had the most games postponed, are currently sitting in eighth spot on the ladder. This proves the direct correlation between games postponed and ladder position.

Granted Glory have only won teo of their games so far this season, however they have also only played six games. Glory haven’t had an opportunity to improve on their game by playing against their competitors as a result of game postponements.

Chart: Grace Clegg – Created with Visme

On the other hand, if we look at Melbourne Victory, who are currently sitting in first place on the ladder, we see another correlation between games played and ladder position.

Victory have only had two of their games postponed and have as a result played seven games this season. Granted, Victory have proved to be a top contending team and playing seven games has given them a far better opportunity to progress.

In terms of the most affected team in the league as a result of game postponements, Perth Glory are well and truly sitting at the top.

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Number of players infected

While there is no official list or tally of the number of A-League Men’s players who have contracted Covid, from official statements and media releases, it is confirmed that all teams in the league, bar Melbourne Victory, have had at least one positive case within their camp.

Chart: Grace Clegg – Created with Visme

As of January 4, Melbourne City head coach Patrick Kisnorbo stated that all but five players had tested positive for Covid.

In mid-December, a Covid case within Glory’s camp saw the club’s entire travelling party put into hotel quarantine in Brisbane for two weeks due to Queensland’s strict Covid rules. They were however granted an exemption and the party, bar the positive case, were able to travel home to complete their second week of quarantine.

With just one team steering clear of a confirmed Covid positive case, the affect of the pandemic on the A-League Men is clear. Not only have games been postponed, but players now also have the added pressure of recovering from the virus.

Is it a coincidence that Melbourne Victory, the one team who have not reported a positive case, are currently sitting on top of the leadership ladder?

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Without a definitive list of how many players per club have contracted Covid, it’s hard to establish which team has been most affected.

It is clear, however, that Perth Glory have been exceptionally hard hit with two weeks of quarantine.

Melbourne City have also been one of the hardest hit squads with just five players having not contracted Covid to date.

Time since last played

Another set of data to look at when determining which team has been most affected by Covid, is the time since each club last played.

For clubs like Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory who played again this week, there’s not a lot to complain about. But for others like Newcastle Jets, who haven’t stepped foot on the field since December 19, and Central Coast Mariners, who haven’t played since December 18, the story is very different.

The following graph shows how long it has been (in days) since each club last played.

Chart: Grace Clegg – Created with Visme

It’s clear from the data shown that clubs like Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle Jets, Macarthur FC and Western United have been most affected by game postponements and the subsequent time since last playing.

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Overall

Considering all data points, number of games postponed, number of players infected and time since last played, Perth Glory has come out on top as the team who has been most affected by Covid.

Feature Image Credit: Darren Speedie

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Grace Clegg
Grace Clegg
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Communication (News Media and PR) at the University of Newcastle. Coffee addict.

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