QPR boss Mark Warburton criticises EFL's proposed Championship restart on June 20
Warburton warns the division is progressing to competitive action too fast too soon and says EFL only gave clubs 40 minutes advance warning over restart date
Last Updated: 02/06/20 7:36am
Mark Warburton says QPR have been "blindsided" by the EFL's proposed resumption of the Championship season on June 20.
The EFL announced on Sunday evening its intention to restart the campaign three days after the Premier League is due to return, subject to all safety requirements and Government guidelines being met.
QPR chief executive Lee Hoos says the club are "vehemently opposed" and "appalled" by the proposal.
Warburton, whose side are 13th and five points off the play-offs with nine games remaining, says the start date causes him "great concern" and is at least one week too soon.
Asked whether the announcement could damage the relationship between the EFL and its clubs, Warburton told Sky Sports News: "To get caught blind-sided last night, 40 minutes before the public are told, is just inappropriate.
"We are all for finishing the campaign, but give us the time to prepare the players to avoid the injury risk. We have to make sure we avoid the medical chaos in the injury room."
Warburton, who is hopeful his squad can begin contact training from Tuesday, added: "Now suddenly last night, without any consultation, we get told that we are starting in less than three weeks which I just find to be ludicrous."
QPR club statement in full from chief executive Lee Hoos
"I am absolutely stunned by this announcement, as is our director of football Les Ferdinand and our manager Mark Warburton.
Incredibly, there has been absolutely no consultation with individual clubs nor with the Championship doctors' working group by the divisional representatives - or anyone else in the Football League - regarding this matter.
On top of that, we were only made aware of the statement 40 minutes before it was made public.
The players haven't even returned to full-contact training at this moment and yet they are now expected to be in a position to play at a competitive level in just three weeks' time.
I have made our feelings known to the EFL and, having spoken with a number of CEOs at other Championship clubs, I am not a lone voice on this matter.
We are absolutely appalled."
In response to the criticism from QPR, an EFL spokesperson said: "The EFL made the decision to announce the proposed restart date of the 2019/20 season following a number of direct approaches from Championship clubs seeking clarity.
"Whilst the League notes the comments made this morning, it should be recognised that there is significant support within the Championship to get back playing as soon as possible in order to finalise the current season from a sporting integrity perspective and lessen the impact on season 2020/21.
"The overall situation remains complex with a number of moving parts to work through in order to get matches in the Championship up and running again, so collectively we need to be flexible in our approach at this time. Importantly, we will continue to have regular dialogue and consult with our clubs in the coming days and weeks on all the operational challenges ahead of games restarting - subject, of course, to all safety requirements and government guidance being met."
The former Rangers and Brentford boss understands the EFL's desire to complete the Championship campaign around the same time as the Premier League, but he insists the second level of English football have always been behind in their preparations for a resumption of competitive action.
"We have the play-offs to consider as well and there will be a lot of games in a short period of time. But right now we need to acclimatise our players," he said.
"They are talking about five substitutes.
"You are much better off having an extra week or 10 days to work with, prepare your players and maintain the normal rules than you are worrying about the five substitutes and changing the normal guidelines."
Warburton believes even though his players have returned to the training ground in good fitness, the numbers of deaths in the UK at this stage compared to fellow European countries such as Italy and Spain should result in greater caution from within the game.
"If you look at how the pandemic is progressing across the UK, we are going too fast here in terms of the football," he said.
Leeds and West Brom currently sit in the Championship's automatic promotion places, while Charlton, Luton and Barnsley are in the relegation places.
Warburton is concerned players will not be able to sustain their standards if they are rushed back, with games set to be played in quick succession and the play-off final targeted on or around July 30.
"They are elite players," he said. "This is not park football. They are expected to perform at elite level in front of a TV audience, unfortunately not a stadium audience but a TV audience.
"You have to give the players the best chance of performing without the fear of injury. They recognise where we are globally in society but we have to give them the best chance of hopefully going out there and delivering the level of standard that we expect from them."
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Charlton manager Lee Bowyer says some of his players are refusing to play upon the proposed resumption of the Championship on June 20.
The Addicks boss, whose side are two points adrift of safety in the Championship, confirmed they will be without long-serving defender Chris Solly and top scorer Lyle Taylor when the league resumes.
"Lyle's one of them and that's tough for us and for me as a manager. Lyle has said that he's not going to play because of risk of injury.
"Chris Solly has said the same. David Davis, who's at Birmingham, says he doesn't want to come back and play games."