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Bolton Wanderers to carry on regardless...For now

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Wanderers’ players are scheduled to train as normal this week despite professional football grinding to a halt over the weekend.

With the league programme suspended by the EFL, Bolton are not currently scheduled to play again for 19 days, hosting Lincoln City at the UniBol on April 4.

Fears persist that the league suspension could be pushed back even further as the country battles to contain COVID-19, with measures to ban large gatherings expected to be implemented by the government to ease pressure on the emergency services.

That will put pressure on the Premier League and the EFL to make a call on how they rearrange the existing games, or even take the drastic step to end the season early.

UEFA will hold an emergency meeting via video link tomorrow which could have a bearing on domestic thinking, particularly if they announce this summer’s European Championships will be moved to 2021, as some have proposed.

That could free up space in the calendar for domestic games to be pushed into June, if necessary.

At present, Keith Hill and his squad are sticking to a normal week’s training schedule as recommended by their medical and sports science staff, with a view to returning in early April.

Senior officials and management at the club are expected to meet early this week to discuss contingency measures but the stadium remains an open workplace, and the Bolton Whites Hotel continues to operate as normal.

If safety measures are stepped up, Wanderers could fall in line actions taken at other clubs and give their players individual plans to keep up their fitness at home without having to report to Lostock on a daily basis.

The three-week hiatus also presents a financial challenge to clubs in the EFL, and though Wanderers are yet to comment on how significantly they will be affected, Rochdale CEO David Bottomley predicts that many clubs in the bottom two tiers will be hit hard.

“I really do fear because you have got to pay your staff, you have got to pay your players and the costs of a business don’t go away just because you’re not actually opening the doors to the public so I would fear a lot of clubs who are probably, certainly in Leagues One and Two, living very hand to mouth and rely on gate receipts,” he told BBC Radio Manchester.

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