QPR furious over lack of consultation from EFL ahead of Championship's return

John Percy
EFL HQ — QPR furious over lack of consultation from EFL ahead of Championship's return - PA

Queens Park Rangers have launched a withering attack on the English Football League over plans to restart the season on June 20, as contact training for Championship clubs was approved on Monday night.

Mark Warburton, the QPR manager, insists the decision to resume the campaign in three week’s time is “ludicrous” while at least three other second-tier clubs are understood to have raised concerns.

The EFL confirmed the provisional start date on Sunday evening but QPR say they are “vehemently opposed” to the schedule, with Championship rivals Charlton revealing that three players including leading scorer Lyle Taylor have refused to play.

Stoke have also been critical of the June 20 date, claiming they need at least an extra week of training before playing competitive games. 

Contact training was given the green light on Monday evening, with squads now permitted to begin Phase 2 on Tuesday, but QPR are furious with the EFL over a timescale they believe is unrealistic.

Lee Hoos, the chief executive, said: “The players haven’t even returned to full-contact training at this moment [Monday morning] and yet they are now expected to be in a position to play at a competitive level in just three weeks’ time.

“I have made our feelings known to the EFL and, having spoken with a number of CEOs at other Championship clubs, I am not a lone voice on this matter.

“We are absolutely appalled. I am absolutely stunned by this announcement, as is our director of football Les Ferdinand and our manager Mark Warburton.”

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QPR’s attack came less than 48 hours after ten positive tests for Covid-19 from Championship clubs were confirmed following the latest round of checks.

However, the EFL insists the decision on a season restart was made to provide clarity and backed by the majority of clubs in the division. 

In a statement, an EFL spokesperson said: "Whilst the league notes the comments made on Monday morning, it should be recognised that there is significant support within the Championship to get back playing as soon as possible in order to finalise the current season from a sporting integrity perspective and lessen the impact on season 2020-21.

"The overall situation remains complex with a number of moving parts to work through in order to get matches in the Championship up and running again, so collectively we need to be flexible in our approach at this time.

"Importantly, we will continue to have regular dialogue and consult with our clubs in the coming days and weeks on all the operational challenges ahead of games restarting - subject, of course, to all safety requirements and government guidance being met."