Portsmouth chief delivers verdict on blanket suspension to Charlton, Sunderland, Ipswich Town and rest of League One's season amid coronavirus spread

Mark Catlin has raised concerns about the effectiveness of a circuit breaker in fighting the impact of coronavirus in football.

Saturday, 26th December 2020, 6:00 am

The Pompey chief executive has reservations about how shutting down the game for a period of between two and four weeks will slow the spread of Covid-19 through the game.

The Blues season is at a standstill after five positive cases of the virus were confirmed at Fratton Park, meaning games against Swindon and Bristol Rovers have been postponed.

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Pompey’s promotion rivals Sunderland, Peterborough and Ipswich all find themselves in similar situations as the season continues around them.

Despite the advantage their rivals could gain from playing on as the Blues games mount up, Catlin is against a blanket suspension as the new variant of coronavirus sweeps across the country.

He said: ‘I have read many say that we need a circuit break more generally, but I would have serious concerns.

‘Football isn’t immune from this virus. It goes hand in hand with and is a microcosm of society.

Mark Catlin

‘My concern would be if we had a circuit break of two-to-four weeks and spent time with our families over Christmas, do we think the situation is going to change in society over that period?

‘My concern would be we’re missing time where clubs who fortunately haven’t been affected can continue to play games.

‘If we have a circuit breaker and push the season down the line more generally, what is realistically going to change which makes us think we’ll be safe to come back into two to four weeks?

‘I don’t understand what is going to change.’

Pompey’s next game is scheduled to be the trip to Accrington on January 2.

Players are currently training on their own with those affected by the virus isolating, along with players who came into close contact with those who tested positive.

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