League One chief issues warning after Covid-19 cases at Sunderland, Portsmouth, Ipswich Town and Peterborough United

There are currently no plans to suspend the League One campaign despite the Covid-19 crisis impacting several clubs.

Monday, 21st December 2020, 12:00 pm

However, the chief executive of one of Sunderland’s promotion rivals has warned the ‘landscape can change drastically’ as the virus grips the country.

Sunderland suffered a Covid-19 outbreak last week with cases now in double figures, the Academy of Light training ground closed for 10 days and the next three games postponed.

Elsewhere, Ipswich Town have become the fifth League One team in a week to confirm an outbreak.

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Mark Catlin CEO of Portsmouth.

Manager Paul Lambert is one of a group of six players and staff at Portman Road to have tested positive for the virus.

Portsmouth had confirmed on Saturday morning that defender Jack Whatmough had been withdrawn from their 2-0 win over Hull City on Friday night due to illness, and subsequently returned a positive test.

Bristol Rovers, Peterborough United and Sunderland both suffered outbreaks last week.

Pompey CEO Mark Catlin explained the current situation in an interview with The News and said there are currently no plans to put the campaign on hold.

However, he warned: “I speak to a lot of people in football and once it starts to get a grip within a squad it just seems to spiral out of control.

“I’m sure that’s replicated through businesses and schools currently throughout the world.

“There’s no plans that I’m aware in terms of meetings to discuss a possible suspension.

“But I have to caveat that, that football, society and the world view on this terrible disease changes daily.

“Just because last night that wasn’t the case doesn’t mean that won’t be today.

“I can’t say it won’t loom its head but at this current time I’ve not spoken to anyone else who’s voicing that opinion.

“But as we’ve found out the landscape can change drastically within a few hours.

“Just a couple of days ago people were looking forward to seeing family and friends over Christmas but can’t see them.

“Portsmouth’s gone from tier two to tier four.

“So things change very, very quickly and football’s not exempt from that.”

All clubs who have postponed fixtures this season are facing an EFL investigation.

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