McAnuff says improvements are needed for any return

PUBLISHED: 14:30 21 April 2020

Jobi McAnuff holds off Liam O'Neil (pic Simon O'Connor)

Jobi McAnuff holds off Liam O'Neil (pic Simon O'Connor)

Simon O’Connor Photography Mobile 07958 573219

Leyton Orient player/coach Jobi McAnuff insists they need wider scale improvements in terms of the spread of the coronavirus to even consider a return to playing football.

Josh Coulson celebrates with returnee Jobi McAnuff (pic Simon O'Connor)Josh Coulson celebrates with returnee Jobi McAnuff (pic Simon O'Connor)

Football League clubs were scheduled to hold a conference call yesterday (Tuesday) with plans for the resolution of the season expected to be discussed, with reports suggesting some League Two clubs are ready to pull the plug on the campaign.

The EFL told member clubs earlier this month to prepare for the season to be completed in 56 days behind closed doors once it was deemed safe for a restart.

That would lead to big financial implications, with the complete loss of matchday income, while costs continue to rise.

The Premier League is still deciding on what to do as well, but the experienced midfielder says they cannot compare League Two to the top flight in this current pandemic.

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“I think we’ve almost got two different conversations, with the Premier League side of things, the scope and scale when you talk about the Premier League is huge, and I’m sure there is a lot of people for many different reasons want to get that league finished,” the 38-year-old said.

“There has been a lot of talk on how they would do that by isolating teams, going away to finish it, and at Premier League level I think you could do that but as you filter down the leagues it’s going to be a lot harder to control and manage. For me health has got to be the most important thing.

“Of course there is a timeline where we have to make a decision, but I’d much rather people were safe on the wider scale of things and we didn’t use resources that could be better off elsewhere just to get the season finished, as much as I would like that to happen.”

A decision is expected to have been made by this morning (Wednesday) about whether they will try to finish the current season or look for an alternative to bring the campaign to a close.

The EFL have come under fire from some quarters for their leadership during the crisis, but that is not how O’s chief executive Danny Macklin feels, as he praised EFL chairman Rick Parry.

“I think they have done more than okay,” he said.

“Rick Parry, who we have had a number of conversations with pre and post-Covid 19, I think has shown true leadership.”

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