Sources: New return date revealed as Leeds & West Brom dreams frozen
Leeds United, West Brom and other Championship clubs will not be able to return to training until 14 April at the earliest, Football Insider has learned.
The EFL has instructed teams in its three professional divisions not to do any kind of activity at their training grounds for another two-and-a-half weeks.
A Championship source has told Football Insider that the Football League governing body has insisted clubs operate in line with UK government advice on the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict new curbs on British life on Monday night that placed the entire country in virtual lockdown for a minimum of three weeks, preventing social gatherings of more than two people at one time.
It is one the EFL is closely adhering to and means Championship clubs will have to keep their training grounds locked until the middle of next month.
As reported by Football Insider earlier this week, the season is unlikely to resume before 1 June as Leeds United and West Brom promotion dreams are frozen following the UK lockdown.
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Football has already been suspended until at least 30 April but that date is set to be extended by a month to give players time to return to organised training and get fully match fit.
Most leading figures in the game agree elite players require a minimum of three weeks of full training, including some ‘pre-season’ friendlies, before returning to competitive match action.
The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA are committed to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season as soon as it is safe and possible to do so
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 19, 2020
It will mean players at elite clubs confined to training alone at home and following individual tailored fitness programmes.
Leeds and West Brom, who are well clear at the top of the Championship with nine match remaining, have the most to gain – apart from Premier League leaders Liverpool – in the season being played to completion.