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Season Suspended Until End of April at Earliest
Thursday, 19th Mar 2020 13:11

The suspension of the football season has been extended until April 30th at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic, the FA, Premier League and EFL have announced in a joint statement released this lunchtime.

The statement reads: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.

“We're united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

“We've collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.

"The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that ‘the season shall terminate not later than the 1st June’ and ‘each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season’.

“However, our board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to professional football. Additionally, we've collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30th April.

“The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.

“We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow. We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.”

Already Town’s League One matches at Bristol Rovers and at home to Portsmouth, which was due to be played on Saturday, had been postponed with the season having been suspended until April 3rd on Friday.

Now the fixtures with Southend, Bolton (both home), Shrewsbury (A), Rochdale (H) and Doncaster (A) are also off.

As things stand, only what was expected to be the final day of the campaign match at home to the MK Dons on Sunday 3rd May remains on as scheduled.

On Tuesday, UEFA and various other football authorities agreed that the domestic programme across Europe had to be completed by June 30th.

Photo: Action Images

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runningout added 13:26 - Mar 19
End it!!

brittaniaman added 13:31 - Mar 19
It is better to be safe than sorry !! Just means that the Players will have Pre-season training before the games start again with so many weeks off ??

ArnieM added 13:48 - Mar 19
In order to complete the fixtures , why don't they simply play them all behind closed doors?

In UK we are talking about 2-3k people having tested +ve out of a population of over 90 MILLION proportion it isn't !!

Ipswichbusiness added 13:58 - Mar 19
ArnieM; at the last census (2011) the population of the UK was just over 63 million.

ArnieM added 14:32 - Mar 19
Ok . So allowing for no births in the last 9 years that’s 2-3k people testing positive in a population of 64MILLION.

It should be possible for 22 fit elite athletes to play a football game behind closed doors twice a week. I’m a front line worker and I’ve been to work today . Amongst those that are not the fittest. We take precautions, hand washing etc between patients , so can footballers . Theurdd Ed not exactly kissing each other are they .

People are ransacking supermarkets amongst the hordes . No problems there .

So a game of football Behind closed doors to enable thdd Ed fixtures to be completed is not beyond the realms of reason is it .

Lightningboy added 14:33 - Mar 19
Not sure if this has been mentioned in previous posts but I wouldn’t be surprised if they just drop the play-offs this season and go back to the old style “3 up / 3 down” method.

WeWereZombies added 14:40 - Mar 19
66,435,600 is the mid year 2018 estimate for the United Kingdom per the Office of National Statistics. It really is very easy to find the latest Government figures using Google:

IpswichToon added 14:52 - Mar 19
ArnieM, as a frontliner, you are showing some incredible amount of ignorance. Less than 7 weeks ago we had the first confirmed case of Coronavirus in the UK. Yesterday the UK announced a rise of 30% in the number of cases from the previous day. So we've gone from 0 to 2,689 in a month and a half. The current rate of spread is typically somewhere around 20-25% a day. Yes, EVERY DAY.

So let's just say 20% growth in numbers per day. 2,689 cases today in the UK, that number will be over 9,600 in a week, 34,500 in 2 weeks and over 600,000 people in a month's time. The NHS is already struggling with the load at less than 3,000 cases, so everyone needs to do absolutely everything they can to help slow the spread because people will die who could have lived if there had been the capacity in the health care system to help them. Have you need seen what's happening in Italy?

But yeah, tell these elite athletes that they should still put themselves at unnecessary risk because you want to watch a bit of footy.

ArnieM added 15:39 - Mar 19
given your comments, are you self isolating ?

If not why not ?

ArnieM added 15:40 - Mar 19
please read my post again. I said behind CLOSED DOORS

Cotton_eyed_joe added 16:21 - Mar 19
Not all cases are confirmed. only those who have attended hospital or tested via gp are confirmed. Reading through medical sites there are a vast number with it who are self isolating and not counted so the figures of 2-3k is massively under the actual number.

Blue041273 added 16:58 - Mar 19
The virus is predicted to peak in about 4 weeks time which makes it quite unlikely that the leagues will resume on 30 April. By that time players will have not played competitively for 7 weeks. Reconditioning the fitness of players who have been out of action for that length of time will take at least 4 weeks and the EPL, EFL and the FA will not be able to confirm definitively by the end of March that matches will be played at the end of April! In the meantime players will be as exposed to the virus as the rest of us and if any player tests positive the whole squad will need to self isolate, so the timing of any resumption of training will be a planning nightmare and will inevitably be disadvantageous to some clubs. It will not be practical either to play games behind closed doors as there is no definitive test available at present that will reassure clubs that every participant in a closed environment has not contracted the virus! It is predicted that ultimately between 50% and 70% of the population will contract the virus. The football community will not be totally exempt from this even with the most stringent of precautions. I can’t imagine that there will be much if any appetite among the players to complete this season now and should probably either be cancelled now or deferred until later in the year with a truncated 2020/21 season following thereafter!

TractorRoyNo1 added 18:59 - Mar 19
Dream on, there will be no games we can attend until Aug/Sept

bushhillblue added 19:50 - Mar 19
With our defense I thought they were already self isolating

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 07:42 - Mar 20
No way will we re-start at the end of April. We'll be lucky to start again in August.

Skip73 added 08:29 - Mar 20
I can't believe that, given whats happening in the world at the moment, there are still some people on here arguing over trivial matters. Surely we should be putting all differences aside for the time being.

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