Coronavirus wrap: Women’s football season ends but Silverstone is still on track
The pandemic continues to impact sport.
The Women’s Super League and Championship seasons have been ended with immediate effect because of the coronavirus pandemic, while talks to ensure the British Grand Prix can go ahead will continue.
The competitions were suspended in March and a decision has now been taken not to try to restart, but to instead focus on preparations for 2020-21.
A statement on the Football Association’s website said the decision had been reached after “overwhelming feedback” from the clubs.
Recommendations for settling the sporting outcomes of the season – such as which teams should represent England in the 2020-21 Women’s Champions League – have been sent to the FA board for consideration.
A statement read: “Following overwhelming feedback from the clubs, the decision to bring an end to the 2019-20 season was made in the best interest of the women’s game.”
But Premier League clubs will vote on proposals for a return to contact training on Wednesday.
Players and managers are to be consulted on the proposals ahead of the 20 clubs meeting as Project Restart plans continue to gather pace amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Results of the latest round of Covid-19 testing, which is taking place on Monday and Tuesday, will also be published on Wednesday.
It is expected that twice-weekly testing will continue rather than be ramped up further, and the proposals will include what to do in the event of a positive test once contact training has restarted.
Meanwhile, Salford co-owner Gary Neville is concerned about a looming financial “nightmare” for English Football League clubs while Stevenage have criticised plans to follow through with relegation if the season is decided off the pitch.
Huddersfield owner Phil Hodgkinson told the BBC he believes around “50 or 60” clubs are in danger of going bust if supporters were not allowed to attend fixtures next season.
While Neville disputes the number put forward, the former Manchester United and England full-back believes the EFL will need investment down the line to keep clubs solvent.
“It will be July, August, September, October where the real pressure comes,” Neville said on The Football Show on Sky Sports.
“I do think there will be clubs considering going into administration in the next three to four months, basically just to save themselves.”
In Formula One, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle says talks with the Government about a quarantine rules exemption will “take a few weeks” but he remains optimistic about the outcome.
Pringle hopes Silverstone will be able to stage back-to-back races at the circuit on two weekends in July or August.
But, in order to do so, there would need to be an exemption to Government rules on a strict quarantine designed to limit imported cases of Covid-19.
“We are still liaising with Government but I am encouraged that there is progress,” Pringle told Sky Sports.
“It will take a few weeks for the way to become clear but it definitely feels we are moving in the right direction.”