League One Postponed... But A Return Is Planned

Any fears that Pompey's 2019/20 campaign will be expunged have been temporarily eased. The EFL have today provided an update on their stance with the Coronavirus pandemic and the effect it continues to have on football.

Following further meetings involving the EFL, the Premier League, The FA the Barclay's FA Women's Super League and the FA Women's Championship, a collective decision has been made to postpone the bodies' respective divisions, with the hope of them returning once COVID-19 no longer poses a threat to the health of the public.

A spokesperson for the EFL said: "Football is committed in supporting the Government's efforts in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak and the staging of football matches in this country. It is clearly something that simply cannot happen at this time."

Although this update confirms that the clubs and league representatives are keen to continue the current season once it is safe to do so, they have not totally ruled out the possibility of it being declared null and void, due to the unpredictability of the outbreak.

The Premier League have also today confirmed their ambitions to see out the remainder of its campaign, but again only when it is safe to return.

All 20 top-flight clubs have agreed to financially aid the NHS, local communities, families and vulnerable groups during the course of the pandemic, as well as supplying advanced funds to support EFL and National League sides to prevent the possibility of clubs falling into financial despair during this difficult time.

Earlier this week, Portsmouth Football Club announced their own update from the financial side of the field, whereby Mark Catlin addressed supporters of the club's decision to take advantage of the Government's Job Retention Scheme.

Pompey's Chief Executive was quoted in saying: "From the start of the Coronavirus crisis, we have sought to assure staff and players of our intention to pay every contracted employee 100 per cent of their salary. This continues to be the case."

For those who are unaware of the Job Retention Scheme, it allows businesses to claim 80 per cent of an employee's wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

"However, I would like to reiterate that all wages will continue to be paid in full by the club to our contracted employees, irrespective of what we are able or unable to claim via the scheme or how long the Government keeps it open." - Catlin added.

The EFL have further assured us that the situation will be monitored constantly, with matches only returning based on the latest guidance provided by the relative Government departments and health authorities.

Express FM will continue to keep you updated on what happens next in regards to the Pompey's 2019/20 campaign and the upcoming decisions which will be made by The FA and the EFL.

Until then, stay indoors, stay safe and protect our NHS. Together we can help prevent the spread of this disease and, in doing so, save lives.

Images courtesy of Portsmouth Football Club.

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