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Mark Warburton says season must be finished to preserve ‘the integrity of football’

PUBLISHED: 17:30 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:47 18 March 2020

Queens Park Rangers Manager Mark Warburton. Picture: PA

Queens Park Rangers Manager Mark Warburton. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton discusses the postponement of the Championship season due to coronavirus.

QPR boss Mark Warburton insists the current football season must be finished but believes the April 3 date for action resuming will be pushed back “quite significantly”.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has caused the English Football League to postpone all games until at least April 3, with Rangers set to travel to Middlesbrough on the fourth.

But Warburton does not believe games will be played on that day but says the season has to be finished, whenever that might be.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate, he said: “We have to head towards the current April 3/4 target date but I think we all appreciate that’s a date that will be pushed back quite significantly.

“Whenever the date may be, that period allows us to complete all the relevant competitions.

“We’re not going to start again on May 1 or June 1 in my opinion.

“We have to finish the domestic programme. I think for the integrity of football we have to finish it.

“We need some certainty but right now that certainty won’t be forthcoming.

“Until we get the start date, nothing else can go ahead.”

The postponement of the league season also throws up many other issues such as the impact on next season and what will happen with players whose contracts are due to expire in June.

Warburton has called for a collective decision to help clubs and believes next season will have to be impacted in order for this season to finish.

“All contracts must be extended to a point beyond the end of the season in my mind,” he added.

“Every loan will be extended, every contract, any due bonus payment. All terms within the contract must be uniformly extended.

“If we do that to two weeks after the last game of the season. I appreciate it’s a huge move but it’s the only way to avoid these individual arguments.

“There has to be a collective decision. People will be upset with certain aspects but it’s what you have to do for the good of the game.

“Next season for me is not important. We finish this season now.

“Somewhere we have to bite the bullet. You can’t return to normality without biting the bullet somewhere in the process.

“We’ve got to take some pain somewhere and that pain for me is next season.”


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