Blades refuse to bow to pressure as coronavirus wreaks havoc with football

Sheffield United decided against releasing a statement outlining their response to the suspension of footballing competition in England due to the coronavirus outbreak because, as one senior figure at Bramall Lane has told The Star, there is “simply too much uncertainty” about how the situation will unfold.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 4:55 pm

United, together with the rest of the Premier League and EFL, were this morning coming to terms with the fact they will not return to action until at least April 4 following the blanket postponement.

Despite admitting they have been inundated with requests to comment, members of both the club’s hierarchy and coaching staff are expected to remain silent until the information at their disposal has been properly assessed.

It includes provisional guidance on what might happen if the break is extended or, as some commentators are suggesting, the season is completed behind closed doors.

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Although no timescale has been given, it is likely United will begin providing details on how they plan to deal with the chaos caused to the fixture calendar at some point next week.

Manager Chris Wilder and his squad trained as usual today before learning tomorrow’s game at Newcastle would not be going ahead as scheduled.

Speaking at his pre-match media briefing, Wilder had expressed fears the contest might take place inside an empty stadium. But when Mikel Arteta, whose Arsenal squad had been set to face United in the FA Cup quarter-finals next weekend, confirmed he had tested positive, the PL convened an emergency meeting of its members. Following those discussions, it was unanimously agreed to call a temporary halt to the schedule across all four leading divisions.

Samples are tested for respiratory viruses, such a coronavirus: Danny Lawson/PA Wire