UK Government will NOT provide cash for EFL club testing despite support being given to FA Cup third round teams amid concerns over the future of the current English football season
- There is no regular testing of EFL players or staff, unlike in the Premier League
- The Government will not provide support to the Football League in their testing
- Sportsmail understands weekly tests cost a EFL club around £7,500-a-week
- The FA will cover the testing of all 64 FA Cup third round teams next month
The Government has no plans to answer calls to help EFL clubs pay for more coronavirus testing even as the crisis engulfing English football deepens.
Eight lower-league matches were postponed on Tuesday night alone as spiralling case numbers nationwide wreak more chaos across the sport.
Morecambe had to pull out of two League Two matches this week – and shut their training ground for 10 days – because of an outbreak which also threatens their upcoming FA Cup tie with Chelsea.
The Government has no plans to answer calls to help EFL clubs pay for more Covid-19 testing
Unlike in the Premier League, there is no regular testing of EFL players (above) and staff
Next week, all 72 EFL clubs will undergo widespread testing, while the FA are paying for all non-top flight clubs to be tested ahead of upcoming FA Cup third-round ties.
But unlike in the Premier League, there is no regular testing of EFL players and staff. The organisation do not intend on extending their nationwide programme beyond next week, instead insisting the priority is that clubs follow existing safety protocols.
It means if teams do want to carry out regular testing, they must foot the bill themselves.
Sportsmail has spoken to one club who for several months have carried out weekly tests on playing staff and those in the ‘red-zone’ – such as stewards and media staff.
Sportsmail learned the testing of staff, stewards and media costs a club £7,500-a-week
It costs them around £7,500 a week – a figure many cash-strapped clubs cannot afford – and they want the government to step in and make next week’s extensive testing programme the norm, rather than the exception.
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson believes some clubs have become sloppy in recent months about Covid protocol.
‘Certain clubs are doing things slightly wrong,’ Robinson told the BBC. ‘Some clubs are using gyms inside with too many players for example.
Oxford boss Karl Robinson (above) claims clubs are starting to get sloppy about Covid rules
‘Over the last two months there have been a number of different spot checks from the EFL and some of the findings have been a little bit disappointing.
‘If we want our game to carry on we have to get back to how we were when football first returned.’
Ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup third-round ties, the FA have agreed to…
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