Thorp Arch Closed, and Leeds players sent home
19 Mar 2020 09:01 am, by Ellandback1
Good Morning. It#s Thursday 19th March, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Thorp Arch Closed, and Leeds players sent home
Leeds training ground Thorp Arch was closed down yesterday, and players sent home amid concerns about the corona virus. Although it has been confirmed that no members of the Leeds squad or staff have tested positive or even shown symptoms of deadly virus; medical advice has forced Leeds chiefs to make these unprecedented moves.
Many raised their eyebrows when it was announced last week that the Bielsa had continued to organise a full week of training as normal, albeit with some days off. First-team players have been told they must stay away from the facility and comply with strict fitness plans at home. Gym equipment will be delivered to the players so they can continue to train from home. This will be a blow for Bielsa who wanted his squad to continue to train as normal through the corona epidemic.
Could this be a blessing in disguise for the Leeds players, or could a lapse in peak fitness cause problems with the style of football Bielsa demands?
Leeds to get a Brazilian
The Daily Express are reporting that Manchester City are prepared to let 17yo Brazilian sensation Yan Couto join Leeds on loan next season if the Whites are promoted. The young right back is already being compared to the likes of Dani Alves and Cafu cost Citeh in the region of 14m (inclusive of bonuses) making him the most expensive player in Coritiba’s history.
The Blue side of Manchester have already parted with a down payment of 6m, paid last month in order to holt Barcelona's attempt to prize the 17 year old to the Camp Nou. Pep Guardiola close relationship with Bielsa looks set to flourish with the likes of Poveda joining, and Harrison likely to join on a permanent basis in the Summer for 8m.
EFL Statement - The latest
The EFL met last night to discuss the repercussions of finishing the 2019/20 season, and issued the following statement...
The primary objective, in order to protect competition integrity, is to deliver a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season, subject to the overriding priority around health and well-being. Plans continue to be developed on the agreed principle that it is in the best interests of the EFL and Clubs to complete the current season at the appropriate time.
The EFL is continuing regular dialogue with the Government and relevant health authorities and, as and when more information is known regarding the scale and extent of the coronavirus outbreak in this country, a decision will be taken on the resumption of the League's fixtures. Conversations will continue with the EFL’s counterparts at the FA, the Premier League, the PFA and the LMA to ensure football achieves a joined-up and collaborative approach.
As part of the League’s continued contingency planning, the Board heard the comments and observations from EFL Clubs, before discussing a number of issues including the current financial position and implications, insurance, regulatory matters and broadcasting arrangements. Discussions centred on financial relief for Clubs in the short term and while there is no one single solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow via a £50million short-term relief package.
This fund consists of the remaining Basic Award payments being advanced to Clubs immediately, with the remainder made up through interest-free loan facility available to Clubs, calculated in line with the EFL’s Article of Associations. The cash injection is included as part of a series of measures, that includes potential Government support to help Clubs and their associated businesses through this period of uncertainty. The EFL welcomes last night’s announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and is continuing discussions to understand how our Clubs can access the funding made available to support businesses.
In addition, we will continue our discussions with our football partners to determine how we can all get through this difficult, challenging and unprecedented situation. The EFL, through a dedicated taskforce, continues to review the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, and its impact on our Clubs and competitions. Alongside ensuring the 2019/20 season reaches a successful conclusion, protecting the EFL and its Clubs is a key priority for the EFL Board, who have today agreed on the following objectives to support future decision-making:
• Ensure the health and well-being of our Clubs’ employees, supporters and communities
• Make a positive contribution to the UK’s efforts to tackle coronavirus
• Protect the EFL’s financial model and Club finances
• Enable the EFL to continue to function as a business
• Deliver a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season.