No plans for EFL circuit breaker, says chairman Rick Parry

EFL chairman Rick Parry
Parry says Covid measures have been tightened at EFL clubs

There are no plans to pause the English Football League because of Covid-19, says chairman Rick Parry.

There have been 19 games postponed across the EFL this weekend because of a surge in cases.

“If we think a circuit breaker will help we will do it but, at the moment, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that it will help,” said Parry.

“We’ve got to stick together, stay calm and keep making balanced decisions on the basis of the latest information.”

Six Premier League games from this weekend’s 10-match fixture list have been called off and top flight clubs will meet on Monday to discuss the escalating crisis around the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parry, speaking to BBC Football Focus, said it had been a “difficult week” following “a real escalation of cases over the last few days” and the priority was the “health and welfare of players, staff and spectators”.

“We wondered if a short sharp circuit breaker this weekend would help but, frankly, it wouldn’t,” added Parry.

“There is no science to suggest it would help and, if you look at the geographical spread, there are areas where games can go ahead and where they can’t.

“There’s talk of the government having a two-week lockdown after Christmas so maybe that will be taken out of our hands.

“We are getting more information listening to the scientists, they need more data to try to work out exactly where we are going with this new strain. It is too early to tell.

“Next week we might be in a different position.”

The English Football League has said a quarter of players at its member clubs “do not intend to get a vaccine” against Covid-19 and, as of last month, 31% of players had not received a first dose.

“We’ve introduced new criteria for clubs, we’ve tightened them [Covid-19 protocols] a little,” said Parry.

“What we are basically saying is that if clubs have got a squad of 14 including a goalkeeper then games should go ahead.

“Clearly, we are having to be very adaptable, we’re consulting with clubs because this is escalating all the time. The rates of infection have gone up dramatically. They will no doubt go up dramatically again.

“It really is a case of taking it one day at a time, trying to keep calm and balanced to do our best to get the season completed.”

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