Sunderland have seen their plans to bring players back for a ‘mini pre-season’ scuppered after the EFL has reportedly reached out to clubs to tell them group training should not re-start until the 14th of April at the earliest.
The Black Cats are seventh in League One as things stand but have seen their promotion push put on hold as all EFL fixtures have been suspended until at least the 30th of April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Sunderland Echo’s ‘The Roar Podcast’, the North East club had planned to bring players back to training the Academy of Light at the start of this week in staggered, smaller groups.
That would’ve allowed them what would’ve been a four-week pre-season ahead of the proposed return of the season on the 31st of April.
However, it appears their plans have been scuppered as, according to Teesside Live, the EFL have written to all clubs to inform them that group training should not re-start until the 14th of April at the earliest.
That update means Sunderland’s plans to return for a ‘mini pre-season’ will have to be delayed by at least a fortnight.
There have been reports that the EFL have already accepted that football will not return on the 31st of April.
It is understood that further meetings are set to be held this week, so that may provide the Black Cats and other clubs with more clarity.
Think you know Sunderland? Take our quiz to test yourself!
This is a really difficult period for EFL clubs.
On top of the financial problems, the coaching and playing staff face some uncertainty over when, or if, the season will resume.
Sunderland’s idea to have a mini pre-season makes a lot of sense and you feel clubs will have to be given a significant amount of warning ahead of the resumption of the season.
It will be interesting to see how things develop, particularly with the EFL set to meet this week.