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EFL: Return to Training Delayed
Wednesday, 13th May 2020 20:28

The EFL has released a statement following today’s board meeting where it was decided that players shouldn’t return to training until May 25th.

Previously, players were expected back at their clubs to restart training on May 16th ahead of a proposed June resumption of the 2019/20.

The new training date is likely to be overtaken by events at League One and Two levels with the anticipation that the season will be brought to a premature end over the course of the next week.

Championship clubs, whose season is still expected to be completed with a June 13th restart date having been pencilled in, held a conference call following the EFL board meeting while, as reported earlier, League One and Two sides will hold a similar meeting on Friday.

Today’s EFL statement reads: “The EFL board has met today to further consider the many complex financial and operational matters resulting out of the Covid-19 crisis, including how the 2019/20 campaign is concluded.

“While there is much debate and discussion taking place publicly and privately regarding what should, or could, happen next, the EFL will continue to undertake consultation with our members before the next steps are determined.

“Current attention is clearly on the immediate next steps, but the long-term impact on the League and its clubs remains as stark as previously outlined, and solutions are still required to fill the financial hole left by the crisis. The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic will not be rectified simply by a return to play behind closed doors.

“In addition, 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 25th May at the earliest.

“Dialogue continues with our colleagues across the footballing and political landscape regarding these and other issues, and the EFL is committed to keeping all relevant parties updated on key decisions and developments as they occur.”

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Cloddyseedbed added 22:22 - May 13
Football is a highly physical contact sport. Players continually spit, cough, sweat. Has no one got any common sense anymore? The rest of the population have been told to isolate as much as possible and maintain social distancing whenever possible and then we have footballers......who for some reason seem to be special cases. No you are not. This is not about protecting the human race it's about money and greed. Get over yourselves. End the season now and be ready to start a new era in English football when it is safe for all.

Saxonblue74 added 22:50 - May 13
Resume when it's safe to do so, and not a minute before. And to all the "Evans out" brigade, just watch and see how many clubs go to the wall whilst our club is kept afloat.

TractorRoyNo1 added 23:33 - May 13
It's all academic to us, whatever scheme they end up with - probably paper stone scissors- Town will be in the 3rd tier next season. Only question is that national or regional.

Bert added 23:40 - May 13
I don’t think it’s the players who think they are a special case, it’s the PL, EFL, FA, FIFA etc who see their own futures at stake in the money grabbing world of football and tv rights. When a business allows itself to exist in a fantasy world of greed, the real purpose of football is lost. This horrible virus may yet bring people to their senses by creating a more level playing field for clubs to exist in a new normal.

KiwiBlue2 added 00:57 - May 14
Cloddyseedbed - Excellent post. Here in NZ we have moved down to Level 2 today which means life returns almost to normal apart from requirements around physical distancing and the size of gatherings. By international standards we are very fortunate. Having a daughter in England I have followed events there very closely and am greatly saddened by the harm that coronavirus has caused there. Our move down to Level 2 was preceded by having no cases in 4 of the last 10 days and only 2 or 3 cases on the other days. I think that ending the season now is the only sensible step available to you and like you hope that the decision makers put much greater weight on the human rather than financial costs/risks of resuming the leagues. Money can be managed/replaced whereas individual human lives are unique and not able to be resurected..

Cloddyseedbed added 18:07 - May 14
KiwiBlue2 I have friends and family in NZ. New Zealand has handled things well, well done. Too many people in UK mate! Ending the football season now should be a no brainer. Stay safe.

KiwiBlue2 added 01:45 - May 15
Cloddyseedbed - thank you for the kind sentiments that you have expressed. I look forward to hearing better news soon on progress against the virus in the UK.

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