Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship return: EFL to publish COVID-19 test results on Sunday

Sky Bet Championship return
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The results from the primary round of Covid-19 testing among Championship players is about to be published on Sunday.

Second-tier clubs are set to start out small group training from Monday amid the coronavirus pandemic, after players underwent initial tests on Thursday and Friday.

The English league will publish what percentage tests were conducted, and therefore the number of positive tests, if any.

Championship clubs’ testing procedures are going to be wiped out a mixture of the way –

 some by independent testers, some by club medical staff and a few will ask players to self-test.

The EFL says the accuracy of the tests meet Government guidelines. 

Championship clubs as a gaggle have indicated a desire to finish the 2019-20 season and can be hoping to resume the campaign at some point next month ideally with a view to finishing it by July 31.

League One and Two players haven’t been tested and thus cannot return to training on Monday.

There is disagreement among League One clubs over whether to play on or curtail the season, with AFC Wimbledon the newest side to line out their position.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the club seemed to indicate they were able to vote for curtailment, 

saying “we won’t vote for any outcome that potentially endangers the health of our players and staff or puts clubs under further financial strain”.

The cost of testing was cited together of the explanations why League Two clubs indicated a preference to curtail the campaign at their level last Friday.

The EFL has published the return-to-training (RTT) protocol, which sets out the necessity for tests to be conducted on a twice-weekly basis.

There is also guidance around what club staff should do once they are at the training ground, with social distancing to be maintained in the least times during this phase of the return to training.

Players will have their temperature checked and be asked to finish a medical questionnaire, 

communal areas of coaching grounds like canteens must remain closed, but clubs may open kitchens to supply players the choice to require food home.

The protocol recommends the introduction of a one-way system to avoid unintentional close contact, and asks all club staff to refrain from spitting.

Tactical meetings should be conducted via teleconference or video conference, 

and staff performing necessary treatment on players are advised to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear says it might be a “national embarrassment” if the Championship 

and therefore the Premier League cannot complete their seasons and said his club is committed to sealing promotion on the pitch.

On Thursday the EFL board began a framework for curtailment for its clubs to vote on, 

including the notion that promotion and relegation altogether three divisions was “integral” to sporting integrity.

League Two clubs had wanted relegation to the National League to be scrapped.

National League leaders Barrow would presumably come up to require the EFL copy to 72 members, after the demise of Bury last summer.

Harrogate are second within the National League, but their director Garry Plant says whether relegation from League Two is imposed or not is irrelevant.

“Our standpoint is that this – relegation (from League Two) possesses nothing to try to to with us in the least ,” he told the PA press agency .

“The rules state that the champions and therefore the runners-up, or play-off winners, get promoted to League Two, end of story.”

Stevenage would be the side to be relegated if League Two was curtailed on a points-per-game basis, which is that the framework the EFL board has suggested.


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