SEASON DELAY EXTENDED
The EFL has confirmed that the suspension of the season will be extended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak.
An original suspension was due to expire at the end of April but, with the rise in cases and deaths in the UK continuing to grow, an extension was expected and has now been officially confirmed, meaning no Stoke City or indeed any football for the foreseeable future.
No football in the EFL will be played for the foreseeable future and there is still the possibility the entire campaign could be cancelled at a later date.
The full EFL statement read: “As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the EFL, Premier League, FA and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship has today collectively agreed to postpone its football competitions until it is safe to resume.
“Football is committed in supporting the Government’s efforts in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak and the staging of football matches in this country.
TV BLACKOUT PUT ON HOLD
Uefa have confirmed a key change which could allow Stoke City fans to watch their team’s 3pm Saturday kick-offs.
The 3pm blackout has been lifted for the rest of the season, allowing matched to be screened at that time on television and online.
The football season is currently on hold indefinitely due to the spread of coronavirus in the UK, and the lifting of the TV blackout which has covered the most popular Saturday kick-off time since 1950s will be seen as a strong indication that leagues are preparing for the prospect of returning behind closed doors.
The EFL and Premier League today confirmed an indefinite suspension from which the leagues will only return when it is ‘safe’ to do so having originally set April 30 as the date to resume.
TONGE OPENS UP ON POTTERS SPELL
Former Stoke City midfielder Michael Tonge has revealed how he wasn’t given a medical when he joined the Potters.
Tonge was signed by City from Sheffield United in 2008 for £2m, but to his surprise, he completed the move to Staffordshire without ever having a medical.
Speaking on the Undr the Cosh podcast, the midfielder revealed how the move came about.
“I found out about Stoke, I got a call at 10:15 on the Tuesday, bombed it over to Sheffield and Kev Blackwell was there.
“I was expecting a chat with him and Sam Ellis where he was going to give me his opinion on it, and basically all he said was ‘I don’t want you to go but I have been told not to persuade you to stay’.
MCCLEAN’S KIND GESTURE
Stoke City midfielder James McClean is the latest football figure to join the fight against coronavirus.
McClean, who often gets a bad press for some of his views, is no stranger to charitable efforts, and his latest has seen him spend his own hard-earned money to help fight against the virus currently putting the world on hold.
Dr Nicola Duffy, who works at the covid-19 centre at the Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, revealed on BBC Northern Ireland that the Potters midfielder has purchased a significant amount of equipment for frontline healthcare workers battling the pandemic in his hometown.
McClean is said to have bought essential ‘kit, equipment and sanitisers’ for healthcare workers who are working around the clock to provide care in these worrying times.
NO ESCAPE FROM SPORTS SCIENCE FOR CITY STARS
Stoke City striker Sam Vokes says he and his teammates have no hiding place from the sports science team, even during their time off.
But that doesn’t mean any of the players are sat at home with their feet up – far from it.
The Potters stars have been given a strict fitness regime to ensure they are ready whenever the season does return, and with each player equipped with a GPS vest, there is no hiding place.