Championship clubs ‘to start coronavirus testing this week’ as Premier League clubs vote to start training

Championship clubs will begin testing players for coronavirus on Thursday and Friday, according to reports.

The Premier League announced on Monday that clubs unanimously voted to resume training, entering stage one of the league’s Project Restart plans.

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The Championship could be following in the Premier League’s footsteps
getty images – getty

And Sky Sports reports that the second tier of English football will look to follow suit with a view to get players from all 24 clubs back to training next Monday (May 25).

Recent advice recommended players get tested once a week but it’s thought Championship clubs will test players twice a week, like the Premier League.

Test results will be analysed within 24 hours, however, the results will not be made available to the public.

Championship clubs have already informed the EFL which of their players they intend to include as part of the testing programme.

One Championship club has also told Sky Sports any players or members of the backroom staff who have not been tested will not be allowed inside the training ground next Monday.

The club also explained ground staff will leave the training ground before players arrive for training.

It’s not clear when football in the Championship will return of when the potential play-offs will take place.

There are hopes the 2019/20 Championship season will be completed. Leeds and West Brom currently occupy the top two spots in the division.

EFL chairman Rick Parry said earlier this month that he expects three clubs to be promoted from the Championship to the top flight.

“We expect three Championship clubs to be promoted – the Premier League are aware of our position on that. The Premier League expects three clubs to be relegated,” he said.

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Leeds would welcome a return to football as they look to get back into the Premier League
Getty Images – Getty

In the Premier League, clubs voted in favour of training in small groups but the sessions will not allow contact between players at this stage.

It’s a positive step in the quest to get football up and running but it’s still not clear when it will be safe to stage matches in England.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said the June 12 return target is ‘a staging post’, suggesting a return could be pushed back.

“June 12 was a staging post; it wasn’t a firm commitment and what we don’t want to do is continue to move it around,” he said.

“We know there’s a discussion to be had, it really depends on when we can start full contact training and we have a process to go through before we can get to that stage. Of course we’ve got to be flexible.

“Next week we are going to be discussing full contact training protocols for that. Once you know when you can start full contact training, and we have had a proper discussion with clubs about how much is required to create the fitness levels before they can start playing, we are then in a position to be able to confirm when the season start is.”


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