The Championship season is unlikely to resume before 1 June as Leeds United and West Brom promotion dreams are on ice following the UK lockdown, Football Insider has learned.
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.
A Championship source has told Football Insider that plans are being discussed that would see ‘pre-season’ programmes start at the beginning of May, with players going back to their normal routines at training grounds.
This would see stars given a month to get fully match fit ahead of a packed fixture schedule beginning at the start of June that would see matches played over six or seven weeks to complete the season.
The Championship run-in would be in line with that of the Premier League and the other English leagues as ruling bodies make plans behind the scenes over how to finish the campaign in line with updated government rules over dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict new curbs on UK life last 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 will mean players at elite clubs confined to training alone at home and following individual tailored fitness programmes.
The Premier League, FA and English Football League issued a joint statement lack week announcing that matches won’t recommence until at least 30 April and that the season will be extended “indefinitely”.
That was seen by those involved as a holding option while daily conversations took place over how and when to finish the season.
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
The ruling bodies have not committed to any option at this stage, but it is expected that matches will initially be staged behind closed doors at neutral venues in order to complete league programmes.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a £15million deal agreed is to be spread across four payments.