May 14 – Clubs in England’s second-tier Championship have been asked to push back a return to training until May 25 at the earliest amid stark warnings over a financial hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The prospect of potentially curtailing the season is growing as hopes of a mid-June restart begin to fade.
Some sources in British media reports suggest that any restart might not take place until late June or even early July – unlike the top flight which is planning for a mid-June resumption.
The new guidance was released after an English Football League (EFL) board meeting to discuss a number of issues caused by the Covid-19 crisis, including how to bring a conclusion to the season.
“The EFL is mindful of the pressing need for clarity in a number of areas, including the practicalities and timeframes of clubs being able to facilitate a return to training.
“To address this, clubs have today been issued with the latest draft of the EFL’s ‘Return to Training Protocols’, so that they can prepare appropriately.
“However, until all outstanding matters are concluded, including finalising a comprehensive testing programme on matchdays and non-matchdays, the EFL board has informed its clubs that a return to training should not take place until 25 May at the earliest.”
Doubts persist over the fate of the two lowest professional leagues with many experts predicting they will not be restarted, even behind closed doors.
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