Coronavirus: EFL board set for crunch meeting on how to proceed with season

All 24 Championship clubs held a video conference on Tuesday and unanimously backed completing the season if possible.

EFL chairman Rick Parry at West Brom vs Leeds United

The English Football League Board will have talks on Wednesday morning via a conference call to discuss how to proceed with the rest of the 2019/20 season in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting will be chaired by EFL chairman Rick Parry and will include three representatives from the Championship, two from League One and one from League Two. There are also two independent executives on the EFL Board.

The EFL announced on Friday that all fixtures have been postponed until April 3 at the earliest following an emergency meeting.

All 24 Championship clubs held a video conference on Tuesday and unanimously backed completing the season if possible.

On Tuesday, UEFA announced its decision to postpone Euro 2020 for 12 months in order to give clubs time to complete their fixture lists.

UEFA wants all domestic and European competitions completed by June 30 "should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough".

Officials from all 20 Premier League clubs will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to establish plans for the remainder of the season, though those talks could stretch into next week.

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Leeds United currently lead the Championship table by a point from West Bromwich Albion with nine games remaining.

Leeds United managing director Angus Kinnear 3:30
Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear says it is “vital” for the EFL and Premier League seasons to be played to their conclusion

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear says it is vital for the EFL and Premier League seasons to be played to their conclusion in order to maintain "the integrity of the football pyramid".

"From our perspective, we think it is vital that it is completed," Kinnear told Sky Sports News. "I think there is a growing sense across the football family that that is the right thing to do.

"It is difficult to speculate on timelines and now is the time for patience and cool heads. I think for the integrity of the football pyramid and the financial security of the clubs, finishing the league is the right thing to do."

Kinnear also acknowledged the financial repercussions from not finishing the season could be severe, particularly for clubs lower down the leagues who are more reliant on gate receipts than television revenue as their primary source of income.

"Obviously from a financial perspective, it is going to make a huge difference to the clubs, particularly lower down the pyramid to receive that income which is their lifeblood," Kinnear added.

The British government has pledged £330billion to help small British businesses deal with the crisis, support clubs in the lower divisions of English football are eligible for.

That possible relief came too late for Barnet Football Club, where 60 people were left on the brink of unemployment after the National League side placed all non-playing staff on immediate notice of redundancy.

Premier League should help smaller clubs

A view of locked gates outside the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. All Premier League football has been suspended in response to the Coronavirus pandemic 4:02
Jamie Redknapp and Millwall manager Gary Rowett agree it's impossible to predict when the season will finish

Sky Sports football analyst Jamie Redknapp has called on the Premier League to help those lower down the football pyramid deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"When the world is better and we can all reset, it's vitally important the Premier League and other clubs help and do whatever they can to keep clubs going," Redknapp told The Debate.

"So many smaller clubs could go out of business from this, they are going to need a bit of help. It wouldn't harm the Premier League clubs, given all the money the league creates, to agree to do something."

"We must come together in crisis"

Premier League 1:27
Former England manager Steve McClaren says it's important that football clubs and authorities help each other to survive the coronavirus crisis.

Former England manager Steve McClaren also stressed the importance of ensuring clubs lower down the leagues are supported financially through the current health crisis.

"I think this is a perfect opportunity of where in crisis everybody comes together. The community, football, everybody," McClaren told Sky Sports News.

"There is enough money in the game to be spread around and especially in crisis. We don't want the lower clubs going out of business.

"Football is, for some people, a massive priority. It's community, it's social, it's what blends and puts people together so we cannot lose our football clubs especially at the lower end.

"They are in danger. There's enough money from Government, from FIFA, from UEFA, from the Premier League, from the EFL. There's enough to go around and we have to pull together and help each other through this crisis.

"Out of adversity comes opportunity, and this is an opportunity for people to bond and get through this crisis together.

"What we've got to make sure is that at the end of it, we haven't lost any of the football clubs that we already have."

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