Two Championship clashes SUSPENDED as Sheffield Wednesday continue anxious Covid-19 wait
Two Championship matches have been suspended due to a coronavirus outbreak at a leading club.
The decision was made after Brentford have reported a number of positive cases in their playing staff to the EFL after their latest round of testing.
Their manager Thomas Frank was confirmed to have contracted the virus last week and sat out their 2-1 FA Cup win over Middlesbrough on Saturday. Now forthcoming matches against Bristol City, originally scheduled for Wednesday evening, and Reading, which was set to take place on Saturday, have been effectively postponed.
Sheffield Wednesday are understood to have recorded a number of positive tests among the playing staff in the past week. A patched-up squad made the trip to Exeter on Saturday. They named only four substitutes as FA rules maintained that if a club could name 14 fit players, the tie would have to be completed.
The rules for Championship fixtures are less clear-cut. Brentford have no academy, meaning they are unable to call up youngsters as the likes of Wednesday and Derby County did at the weekend.
Owls caretaker boss Neil Thompson tested positive last Sunday alongside fellow coaches Steve Haslam and Lee Bullen. Goalkeeping coach Nicky Weaver tested positive later in the week and is also self-isolating. The identities of others to have tested positive remain confidential.
Thompson said last week that the club were aiming to re-open their Middlewood Road training ground and welcome back some of those who had tested positive on Wednesday, though that is dependent on further testing. All Owls players and staff will be tested twice this week.
In the case of further positive tests it could well be that this weekend’s trip to Coventry City falls to the same fate as those Brentford matches.
A statement by Brentford FC read: “After a round of Covid-19 testing yesterday, Monday 11 January, Brentford FC reported positive tests to the EFL.
“The guidance from the EFL Medical Advisor was that we should close our Training Ground and carry out further rounds of testing.
“We informed the EFL that we would be unable to fulfil the fixtures following the tests, the closure of the Training Ground and the requirement for players and staff to self-isolate as per EFL and Government guidance in order to mitigate against the risk of further infection.”