EFL chief Rick Parry reveals deadline for Portsmouth finishing season - and why it is in serious doubt
The Chairman of the EFL has admitted that the conclusion of Portsmouth’s season is in significant doubt, and has said clubs need urgent clarity on whether they will be able to resume playing.
Rick Parry this morning appeared in front of the Digital, Culture and Media Sport committee, where he warned that the expiration of vast numbers of player contracts meant that the season cannot realistically go beyond July 31st.
With the EFL of the belief that 56 days are required to complete the season on the pitch, it means that decisions will need to be made shortly.
In a stark admission, Parry said that the approach being taken by the Premier League would simply not suffice for the three EFL divisions.
“The one plea I would make is that, which is a very sincere one, is that I think the Premier League and the government are working on a twin-track approach,” Parry said.
“Essentially, work out when it is safe to return to train, start training, and then take a decision on when it is safe to play.
“That absolutely does not work for us.
“We have to work backwards.
“Our end date is essentially the 31st July due to the situation with player contracts.
“We can't go beyond July.
“Players have been furloughed, staff have been furloughed,” he added.
“To expect clubs to bring people back into training now, only then to find they can't play in a month, would be a complete mess.
“We need to be making decisions within days.
“What we need is criteria on returning to play and we need it very quickly.”
Parry says that at this stage, the desire does remain to resume when safe to do so.
“We want to resume playing, purely from the point of view of sporting integrity, when it is safe to do so,” he said.
“We want to make decisions based on hard fact and data rather than speculation.
“We'll return when the government says it is safe and sets the criteria.
“We'll do so in a way that makes sure all our players are safe and healthy, and there is no stress on the NHS, frontline services and emergency workers.”