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Championship

PL, EFL tell fans: No quick answers on return

"Clubs and their supporters have a vital role to play in supporting the Government's guidance"

Last Updated: 01/04/20 12:14pm

Liverpool currently lead the Premier League by 25 points

Liverpool currently lead the Premier League by 25 points

The Premier League and EFL have told football fans there are no "quick answers" on how and when football will return after its suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League, the EFL and Women's Super League and Championship have been suspended until April 30 "at the earliest".

The deadline for returning to action was extended indefinitely as part of an agreement with the FA.

A message to football supporters from the Premier League, the English Football League, the FA and Football Supporters' Association (FSA) says the situation is regularly changing.

The message said: "COVID-19 has presented a hugely challenging and uncertain time for everyone and our thoughts are with all those directly affected by the pandemic.

"We are all committed to getting back to playing the game we love - but only when it is safe to do so.

1:25 Chief reporter Bryan Swanson discusses what will be on the agenda as UEFA prepare to hold talks with every European association about the coronavirus.

Chief reporter Bryan Swanson discusses what will be on the agenda as UEFA prepare to hold talks with every European association about the coronavirus.

"Amid the current uncertainty, supporters will understandably have a number of questions relating to the season and the clubs they follow, and there are no quick answers to how and when we will return to what used to be our football normality.

"As the situation is regularly changing, the Premier League, EFL and The FA will continue to consult the FSA and keep supporters updated on the progress made as soon as is practically possible."

1:49 Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries explains how long the social distancing measures could be in place in the UK in Sunday's Government briefing in Downing Street.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries explains how long the social distancing measures could be in place in the UK in Sunday's Government briefing in Downing Street.

Fans have a vital role to play in coronavirus battle

The letter also called on fans to play their part in following government advice.

"The Football Supporters' Association, Premier League, EFL and The FA want to reiterate that clubs and their supporters have a vital role to play in supporting the Government's guidance and ensuring community strength and solidarity.

0:24 Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has been helping out at Age Concern UK in Enfield during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has been helping out at Age Concern UK in Enfield during the coronavirus pandemic.

"While there is no football, our sport can still play its part. Clubs and supporters have responded magnificently with staff, fans and volunteers supporting those most in need in their local towns and cities.

"Many supporters' groups across the country have also shown just how valuable they are.

"We have seen official supporters' trusts raising tens of thousands of pounds in their local communities, donating to local foodbanks, delivering care packages and helping NHS staff.

"The work of clubs, staff, volunteers and fans is making a difference to those in need.

"The FSA, Premier League, EFL and The FA encourage all clubs and supporters' groups to remain in contact during this difficult time and, where possible, support one another in their community efforts.

"We also extend our gratitude to those football supporters who are key workers, and those who have offered their support on a volunteer basis.

"We urge fans across the country to follow the ongoing Government advice, to provide us all with the best opportunity to keep fans and communities safe."

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11966747/premier-league-and-efl-tell-fans-there-are-no-quick-answers-on-return-to-football

PFA meeting PL, EFL over player wage deferrals

Club owners warn wage deferral scheme integral to surviving current crisis

Last Updated: 01/04/20 11:51am

The PFA will meet with both Premier League and EFL officials on Wednesday to discuss player wages and whether they can agree a deferral of salaries during the current crisis.

On the agenda will be the suggestion of a collective agreement to cover all players from the Premier League to League Two, however the issue is a complex one with the varying levels of salaries involved.

Newcastle, Norwich and Tottenham and a high number of EFL clubs have announced that many non-playing staff have been furloughed in order to take up the benefits of the government financial scheme to preserve jobs.

A number of club owners and chairmen are warning that a wage deferral is inevitable if clubs are to get through the current situation and survive the financial burden.

The world's leading players union, FIFPro, has called on clubs to stop firing players or cutting their salaries before talks.

FIFPro said it is "extremely concerned" that clubs in several countries "have begun to immediately lay off players or unilaterally reduce their salaries" because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Netherlands-based union said many players worldwide earn at or below average domestic income "and would be severely affected by salary decreases".

The first-team squads of several top European clubs including Barcelona and Juventus have agreed to take wage cuts.

5:01 Sky Sports' Alan McInally says the top earners in the Premier League can afford to take a pay cut to help their clubs deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus

Sky Sports' Alan McInally says the top earners in the Premier League can afford to take a pay cut to help their clubs deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus

The Premier League and EFL have told football fans there are no "quick answers" on how and when football will return after its suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League, the EFL and Women's Super League and Championship have been suspended until April 30 "at the earliest".

The deadline for returning to action was extended indefinitely as part of an agreement with the FA.

Last month, the EFL put in place a £50m fund to help with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on clubs.

The pinch is already being felt, with Birmingham asking some players to defer half their pay, while players at Leeds have volunteered for a wage deferral.

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11966780/premier-league-and-efl-to-meet-pfa-in-hope-of-reaching-wage-deferral-agreement

Who should win Championship Player of the Season?

Keith Andrews, Don Goodman, Andy Hinchcliffe, Scott Minto, David Prutton and Gary Weaver pick their star man of the campaign...

Last Updated: 31/03/20 2:12pm

We asked six of our Sky Sports EFL experts to pick their Championship Player of the Season.

In the first of a series that will see our pundits pick their best bits of the 2019/20 Championship season so far, our six experts tell us who they feel has been the standout player of the campaign...

Keith Andrews - Matheus Pereira, West Brom

I'm going to go for Pereira because I have been blown away by his skill, his ability on the ball, the way he takes the game to the opposition and the vision he has.

He is such an all-round attacking player and isn't just one type of No 10. I think he is at his best in the centre, but we have seen him play from the right and the left, too.

I have eulogised about him from August when I saw little glimpses in his game, and I remember thinking he was playing on a different level to most on the pitch.

He is Brazilian so you would expect the flair, tricks and flicks, but his loan spell has really helped him deal with the physical side of the game. He has slotted into Championship life and got on with things.

Don Goodman - Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham

Scoring 23 goals in 34 games speaks for itself. You look at West Brom and they have players chipping in from everywhere, but Fulham don't have that.

He has scored 23 of their 52 goals, which is monumental. It shows how reliant they are on him and the massive burden on his shoulders, and that is why he is my Player of the Season.

It is almost a reluctant choice as I really do believe Kalvin Phillips has been the best player in the league. They are both important to their sides but in different ways.

But, as is tradition, strikers always get the glory. That is the way it is always been, and the way it always will be!

Andy Hinchcliffe - Ollie Watkins, Brentford

Mitrovic and Watkins have both been excellent and they are different types of striker. But Watkins is my Player of the Season because we all knew about Mitrovic.

He has taken to his change of position at Brentford so well, his finishing in the penalty box is so assured and he looks a natural goal scorer.

I know they have been working hard on him in training, and everything about his attacking play has been brilliant.

To play a full season as a lone striker is not easy, and the improvement he has shown this season makes him worthy of it.

Scott Minto - Ollie Watkins, Brentford

Watkins was an extremely talented player before this season, but in a completely different position. Once Neal Maupay left Brentford, though, he started scoring straight away.

Everyone thought he would go back out wide eventually, but he has taken his game to another level and done what a goal scorer needs to do. All his goals - except for one - have come from inside the box and he knows where he needs to be. He looks a born goal scorer.

For him to be playing like a seasoned striker, and leading the line in the way he has, I'll be honest I didn't see it coming. To score 22 league goals from almost nowhere makes him the revelation of the season for me.

He is another Brentford player who will be playing in the Premier League next season, even if they don't go up.

David Prutton - Ollie Watkins, Brentford

Phillips has been brilliant for Leeds, Jarrod Bowen wouldn't have been too far away if he had stayed at Hull in the Championship and Mitrovic has done what we expected. The fact we know how good he is may have counted against him a little!

Watkins, however, deserves the credit for what he has done this season in terms of switching positions - from a wide player to a striker.

He really has lit up the league and had so many excellent performances, and the type of goals he has scored have impressed me. He isn't scoring the types of goals a winger playing as a striker would, they are proper No 9 goals.

He is Brentford's chance of getting to the Premier League, and you imagine he will be there one way or another soon enough, anyway.

Gary Weaver - Ollie Watkins, Brentford

Kalvin Phillips has been excellent for Leeds and you almost take for granted that Mitrovic would hit the figures he has, but I've had to pick Watkins.

I've watched him since he was at Exeter - where he used to play as a striker in the youth team - and I remember [former Brentford manager] Dean Smith telling me he would play as a striker eventually.

Watkins never thought he would get that chance at Brentford as they kept signing strikers, but he has done now and he has shown what he can do. He has adapted and turned into a proper No 9. He knows where to be in the box, and he is a top lad as well.

It is always exciting to see a player really improve and fulfil their potential, and that's what Watkins has done.

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11965845/ollie-watkins-aleksandar-mitrovic-or-matheus-pereira-championship-pundits-pick-their-player-of-the-season

Warburton: We must finish the season

Last Updated: 28/03/20 4:15pm

0:46 QPR manager Mark Warburton says supporters should be given confirmation on whether the season will be finished.

QPR manager Mark Warburton says supporters should be given confirmation on whether the season will be finished.

QPR boss Mark Warburton insists the current season must be completed to protect football's "integrity" - even if that means competitions being shortened for the following campaign.  

As things stand, the Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Women's Super League are scheduled to resume their respective competitions on April 30 after all were stalled by the coronavirus outbreak.

That date will almost certainly be moved back for the third time when those bodies hold a meeting next week, with an actual time-frame for return likely to be much further away.

QPR manager Mark Warburton insists the 2019/20 season must be played to a conclusion

QPR manager Mark Warburton insists the 2019/20 season must be played to a conclusion

Tiers further down the football pyramid have cancelled their delayed leagues, meaning promotion and relegation will not occur.

There has been some talk of a similar measure taking place across all levels, but Warburton feels the game would suffer if a season which was nearing completion was simply expunged.

"I feel very strongly that we have to finish this season," Warburton told Sky Sports News.

"I feel so strongly that for the integrity of the game - we're 80 per cent through - we absolutely have to finish this season.

"And supporters want to hear that, they want that confirmation."

Warburton insists that his view point is a "neutral" one, given the fact that his QPR side were in a mid-table 13th place in the Championship when the EFL suspended all matches on March 13.

0:51 QPR director of football Les Ferdinand believes Eberechi Eze could be in contention for an England call-up.

QPR director of football Les Ferdinand believes Eberechi Eze could be in contention for an England call-up.

The former Nottingham Forest manager is suggesting a truncated 2020/21 season played under different rules, to enable it to be completed in time for Euro 2021, which UEFA has announced will begin on June 11 next year.

"I keep hearing comments about next season - there has to be pain somewhere, there has to be change, it can't be all as normal," Warburton said.

"So if that means next season is condensed, so be it. If the Champions League reverts back to a knockout stage we had a few years ago, for one season, so be it. If the playoffs this season become one-legged affairs, third playing sixth at home, so be it.

"We've got to adapt, we can't talk about unprecedented times, unchartered waters, and then expect no change."

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Warburton: We must finish the season

Last Updated: 28/03/20 4:15pm

0:46 QPR manager Mark Warburton says supporters should be given confirmation on whether the season will be finished.

QPR manager Mark Warburton says supporters should be given confirmation on whether the season will be finished.

QPR boss Mark Warburton insists the current season must be completed to protect football's "integrity" - even if that means competitions being shortened for the following campaign.  

As things stand, the Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Women's Super League are scheduled to resume their respective competitions on April 30 after all were stalled by the coronavirus outbreak.

That date will almost certainly be moved back for the third time when those bodies hold a meeting next week, with an actual time-frame for return likely to be much further away.

QPR manager Mark Warburton insists the 2019/20 season must be played to a conclusion

QPR manager Mark Warburton insists the 2019/20 season must be played to a conclusion

Tiers further down the football pyramid have cancelled their delayed leagues, meaning promotion and relegation will not occur.

There has been some talk of a similar measure taking place across all levels, but Warburton feels the game would suffer if a season which was nearing completion was simply expunged.

"I feel very strongly that we have to finish this season," Warburton told Sky Sports News.

"I feel so strongly that for the integrity of the game - we're 80 per cent through - we absolutely have to finish this season.

"And supporters want to hear that, they want that confirmation."

Warburton insists that his view point is a "neutral" one, given the fact that his QPR side were in a mid-table 13th place in the Championship when the EFL suspended all matches on March 13.

0:51 QPR director of football Les Ferdinand believes Eberechi Eze could be in contention for an England call-up.

QPR director of football Les Ferdinand believes Eberechi Eze could be in contention for an England call-up.

The former Nottingham Forest manager is suggesting a truncated 2020/21 season played under different rules, to enable it to be completed in time for Euro 2021, which UEFA has announced will begin on June 11 next year.

"I keep hearing comments about next season - there has to be pain somewhere, there has to be change, it can't be all as normal," Warburton said.

"So if that means next season is condensed, so be it. If the Champions League reverts back to a knockout stage we had a few years ago, for one season, so be it. If the playoffs this season become one-legged affairs, third playing sixth at home, so be it.

"We've got to adapt, we can't talk about unprecedented times, unchartered waters, and then expect no change."

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11965076/qpr-boss-mark-warburton-insists-football-season-must-finish