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O'Neill: We Still Back Completing Season
Monday, 30th Mar 2020 13:52

Town general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill has reiterated the club’s support for the completion of the 2019/20 season but expects the restart to be put back further.

Football in the EFL and Premier League is currently suspended until the end of April with the squad scheduled to return to training on April 14th as things stand but O’Neill says that’s highly unlikely to happen.

“The players were due to return to training this week but that has been put back by the EFL until April 14th,” O’Neill told the club site.

“We are working to a timetable from there. We have to have a plan in place and at the moment, the instructions are to be ready to play from the start of May.

“Can players be ready to play at the end of the month fitness-wise? Yes, but that isn’t the question when you see what is going on in the world.

“How can we have players training and playing games when social distancing and a ban of more than two people being together is in place?

“It’s unrealistic to think we will be back for April 14th for those reasons and I expect that to change but we had a coaches’ meeting this morning and looked at the timetable and all we can do is work towards what we have been told by the EFL.

“There are meetings planned between all the main football bodies this week, the Premier League, EFL, PFA and there are some massive decisions ahead.

“As a club though, we certainly support the notion that everything should be done where possible to complete this season. If that doesn’t happen, the ramifications will go on and on.”

Over the weekend UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted the season could be “lost” if it isn’t restarted by the end of June, while there were reports that the authorities want to finish the campaign behind closed doors.

Today, it’s reported that the Premier League is considering plans to play games in World Cup-style camps in the Midlands and London during June and July with the matches behind closed doors and players staying isolated in hotels as they might at an international competition.

A number of games would be played every day at the selected venues as the Premier League looks to fulfil its broadcasting contracts and avoid fines from the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport.

The EFL may well look at a similar approach as it seeks to end its season.

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BlueBadger added 14:46 - Mar 30
...hopefully because there's a release cause in Lambert's contract in the event of failure to achieve promotion and we can sack our Worst Manager Ever.

ITFCsince73 added 15:22 - Mar 30
The social distancing and the more than 2 people ban, will be in place until the Autumn at least.
The medical experts have more or less confirmed this.
Football clubs have their fingers in their ears, it seems.

BlueBadger added 15:36 - Mar 30
It's alright, we haven't gotten near any opposition players since January.

marshland added 15:45 - Mar 30
Its only 6 weeks til the transfer window opens (17 May 2020) and the restrictions will be in place for months so surely its time to declare the season null and void for everyone except the Premiership where the size of TV money at stake probably means that somehow the games have to be played. Feel sorry for the Ladies who have played so well but have been robbed of promotion by this virus.

ArnieM added 15:49 - Mar 30
Heading for behind closed doors then .

And as for Lambert being the “ worst manager”, I take it some of you never witnessed JohnDuncans era.....were absent during Hurts total f nck up in 6 weeks, and of course the shower of boring shyte served up by The Dinosaur!

ITFCsince73 added 15:49 - Mar 30
I wish O’Neil would just carry on with the painting.
And only stop, when he can say there’s a 5% chance of restarting.
Currently 0%.

alfromcol added 15:52 - Mar 30
These people must be living in a different Universe!!!! Lets take the competition to one of the places where there are likely to be the most cases and deaths for the foreseeable future - London. Better to play this competition on some remote Scottish island. Oh I forgot, it's money we need.

Today, it’s reported that the Premier League is considering plans to play games in World Cup-style camps in the Midlands and London during June and July with the matches behind closed doors and players staying isolated in hotels as they might at an international competition.

dirtydingusmagee added 15:56 - Mar 30
dream on, its all screwed now .

ChrisFelix added 16:00 - Mar 30
Itfcsince 1973 you reminded me that Chambers has been practising social distancing for several seasons. He is often more than 6 feet away from the opposition striker 😭

ITFCsince73 added 16:01 - Mar 30
It’s clear the Premier league are coming up with any way possible.
Personally can’t see next season being completed, let alone this one.
Obviously this will mean 100,s of millions at stake, in lost tv and sponsorship money.
Only a handful of Premier league clubs could take this financial hit.
Hopefully when football does restart, it’s fair for all, finance wise.
The big, big money in football is over....

ITFCsince73 added 16:05 - Mar 30
Very true Chris. Although shouldn’t knock Chambo. Apparently he’s doing 20 trips a day to Asda.
Helping out the clubs elderly and vulnerable season ticket holders.
Bless him...Great bloke.

BlueArrow added 16:21 - Mar 30
Can't see them playing behind closed doors with all the spitting on the pitch. They will need tanker loads of disinfectant to wash the pitch down after every match.

r2d2 added 16:36 - Mar 30
Arnie M. Lambert is our worst manager. McCarthy did well with what he had. Duncan consistently finished in the top 10. You are deluded if you think Lambert is the answer.

eddiespearitt03 added 18:37 - Mar 30
Just for a minute i thought the title read that soon we be back COMPETING this season.

Will the players be ready to handle 90 minutes battle after a long rest ?

dirtydingusmagee added 09:13 - Mar 31
dont you mean 19 minutes eddie ?we are talking about getting back to some sort of normality.

essextractorboy93 added 09:24 - Mar 31
Why is everyone so desperate to make a decision already. Lets see how this plays out. I agree that the season should be completed however long that takes and only when it is safe to do so. What if these restriction measures stay in place until October? Next season will be impossible to complete with a Euros in 2021. Teams would need a preseason meaning we could only start a month or so after it is safe to do so. Complete the current season.

The financial implications for clubs are huge as well. For example Norwich are highly likely to be relegated and yet if they finish the season now and they are saved, they would receive another 120 million from the Premier League. West Brom on the other hand are in their last year of parachute payments and Leeds have just paid a lot to extend Bielsa's contract.

We all want a solution and we want to see football back of course. We will have to wait a while but when it is safe to do so we should complete the season and then readjust the calendar.

TractorRoyNo1 added 09:59 - Mar 31
Play this contact support behind closed doors to keep Murdoch happy, team A has 5 players in lock down, team B hasn't trained as all were in luck down last week - yeah that will make good TV - ffs wake up people.

billlm added 15:08 - Mar 31
From towns point of view were terrible, so I'd favour cancelling and starting this season again afresh, with bury if permitted, I'm also not worried about where Norwich are league wise or financially, there years ahead of us atm,

ITFCsince73 added 16:46 - Mar 31
Essextractor. All of professional football is trying to find a solution ASAP.
The financial implications for some are clearly massive.
Leeds have tried for promotion on the back of massive debt. Paying average wages of 30k plus per week.
Sky sports have very few subscribers left, and are losing tens of millions of pounds in the process.
I personally can’t see this season being finished, or next starting or finishing.
Norwich won’t receive £120m. There will be no tv or sponsorship money to give.
Clubs such as Norwich are looking at all means possible, to get things started ASAP.
Being a very small club in the Premier League comes with huge overheads.
Norwich FC must be very concerned.


JCTractorboy added 20:37 - Mar 31
ITFCsince73 - you make that comment about social distancing being in place until autumn like it’s a fact. You may well be right mate but literally nobody knows. I personally believe no need to rush a decision right now. You see teams in the non league divisions are already kicking off with the fa that their season has been made null and void. Try that with professional leagues and the complaints will be tenfold. Personally I think this season has to finish whenever that maybe. If that means wholesale changes to next season then so be it. But it’s the fair thing to do. Let’s just get rid of this goddam virus and take it from there!

MurcianITCC added 21:48 - Mar 31
The UK has no idea yet how bad this could get. I hope Boris has played this better than, Italy, Spain..tRump but I have doubts.
I doubt anything below the premier league will get finished, how they sort this I have no idea...and really, it doesn't seem that important.

SamWhiteUK added 10:58 - Apr 1
ArnieM, do you actually believe Lambert is better than McCarthy?

ITFCsince73 added 11:13 - Apr 1
Not fact tractorboy, just obvious.

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