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Bolton facing tough decisions as coronavirus crisis deepens

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Wanderers’ players have been told to report for training tomorrow (Thursday) but the club is now facing up to the prospect of closing the Lostock complex completely.

Keith Hill’s squad is currently on course to train as normal over the next couple of days but following updated government advice, sources inside the club believe it is “inevitable” that players will soon be asked to train from home.

Several local sides have issued their players with individual training plans, instructing them to work from home. But medical staff are also advising that footballers avoid public gyms wherever possible to minimise the chance of contracting the coronavirus.

Staff continued to work at the stadium yesterday and are being kept abreast of the latest information.

Wanderers have declined to comment officially on whether they will close their facilities but are known to be awaiting guidance from the EFL, who have a board meeting later today which should shed some light on how they plan to tackle the remainder of the season.

UEFA announced yesterday that the European Championships would be put back to 2021 to allow domestic leagues some space to reorganise fixtures by the end of June and to ensure the safety of players and supporters. Reports also claimed that leading clubs in the Championship are pushing for fixtures to be resumed and completed whenever it is practical to do so.

Wanderers’ fate in League One is all-but guaranteed – with the club currently sitting bottom of the table, 21 points from safety, with only 30 points to play for.

But the situation further up the table, and particularly in and around the play-offs, is a lot more complicated and any attempt to ‘cut-off’ the season at the current stage would almost certainly result in legal challenges to the EFL from those who are affected.

The length of standard player contracts present another potential issue should the EFL decide to complete the season and extend it into the summer, and Wanderers have at least 15 senior pros who will be out of contract on June 31.

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