Sheffield Wednesday stop training as Hillsborough and Middlewood Road go into lockdown amid coronavirus crisis

Sheffield Wednesday have cancelled all training at their Middlewood Road training base for the foreseeable future as the coronavirus crisis continues to take hold.

Saturday, 21st March 2020, 1:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 7:31 pm

The Star understands that the Owls had trained with a full squad up until Thursday but that they have now taken the decision to send players home.

Every player has been provided with a bespoke training schedule as Garry Monk and staff go about designing varied training plans for the squad in order to alleviate boredom.

No players or staff are believed to have reported symptoms of the illness and the situation is under ‘constant review’ by Monk and senior club officials.

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It is understood that yesterday the EFL sent a message to all clubs recommending that they cease all training activity in accordance with the shift in Government advice with regard to physical contact, though Wednesday say their call had been made earlier.

It is not known whether other clubs have or will continue to train.

The decision has allowed the club to effectively lock down the training ground, which up until now had been closed off to the majority of staff and outside visitors. Hillsborough is also empty with all staff members working from home. Both sites are said to be accessible on an ‘essential visits only’ basis.

Wednesday are taking advice on how best to control hygiene at both the training ground and at Hillsborough, with Middlewood Road having been deep-cleaned at regular intervals since the outset of the outbreak.

Hillsborough Stadium is effectively in lockdown along with Sheffield Wednesday's Middlewood Road training ground.

All professional football in England is now suspended until April 30 at the very earliest, though several experts have said that any hope of a resumption on that date is unlikely. On that basis, Wednesday’s next match would be against Middlesbrough at Hillsborough in what would have been the final match of the season.

It would leave the EFL with eight Owls matches to rearrange. The authority has been clear that it is their preference to finish the season rather than cancel or void the campaign and that they will do all they can to ensure all remaining matches are played.