Preston North End's return to training delayed after new advice from the EFL

Preston North End's planned return to full training has been pushed back until later in May.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 8:36 pm
Preston North End's Deepdale ground
Preston North End's Deepdale ground

The Lilywhites were due to resume training at Springfields on Saturday morning in line with EFL advice which was given in April.

However, the EFL issued new advice on Wednesday evening, with clubs told not to return until Monday, May 25 at the earliest.

A later return to training will almost certainly push the planned resumption of the season into the middle of June rather than the June 6 date which had been spoken about.

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The EFL said in a statement: "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 time frames 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 25 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."