Scrap promotion if Championship season cannot finish, says Norwich chief
- United Kingdom
Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber says promotion to the Premier League should be scrapped if the Championship season is not completed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Premier League is pressing on with its "Project Restart" plans to restart the top-flight campaign in June despite a host of issues and objections from some clubs and players.
Attempts to resume play in the second-tier Championship, League One and League Two are also fraught with difficulties, especially the prohibitive cost of testing players and staff for the virus for clubs with scant resources. Reports say the League One and League Two seasons could be called off and the future of the Championship is far from certain.
The prospect of Premier League teams being relegated and replaced by Championship sides who did not finish their seasons does not sit well with Webber. Norwich were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, four points adrift of second-bottom Aston Villa, when play was suspended in mid-March.
Leeds and West Brom were first and second in the Championship. "What we could not accept is a situation where we play all our games and get relegated, but the Championship can't play, and they automatically promote some teams who haven't finished the season," Webber told Sky Sports.
"For anyone who has got promoted from the Championship, it is a 46 or 49-game slog. It needs to be settled on the pitch, both coming up and going down." Premier League clubs hope to resume training next week while observing social distancing but the lower leagues remain in a state of flux. A number of lower-division teams have furloughed their players to save money during health crisis.
An English Football League board meeting is set for Wednesday to discuss how to finish the season, followed by talks between all 24 Championship clubs..
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