The rush to re-start the Championship seems is providing clubs with unprecedented daily obstacles.
At the top of the list are the positive Covid cases which have been returned across the division, including nine from 1,094 players and staff who were tested between Saturday and Tuesday.
Huddersfield, Preston and Sheffield Wednesday have confirmed one positive test and Leeds Live reporting another is at Leeds United.
Clubs have only just started to enter phase two of the return to training protocol, allowing contact in small groups. That is at least a week behind the Premier League, even if most teams in the top two divisions will start back playing on June 20.
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Managers including Michael O’Neill want to arrange warm-up matches to help get up to speed after a three-month break – but they are not permitted until the EFL gives the green light for clubs to enter the third and final phase of training.
The planning has been a major frustration across the Championship, with Queens Park Rangers the most vocal that the launch date is too soon.
Friendlies are expected to be only permitted, like in the Premier League, against clubs within a 90-mile radius. Players will have to make the journey in their own cars, possibly in kit, and games will be refereed by members of coaching staff.
O’Neill told Stoke City+ earlier this week: “It’s one of things we’ve discussed and seeing what the guidelines will allow us to do. We’re looking at those options.
“We’re looking at teams in the Championship who we’ve played twice, for example, and there’s no issue with us playing each other again.
“In a close vicinity as well, the likes of Blackburn come into that, Preston come into that, Derby for example. They’re all good options for us to possibly behind closed doors 11 v 11.
“You can structure that game however you want. Perhaps you’ll play three 45 minutes so you’re rotating players – but at the minute we have no guidelines on that.
“Certainly you’d want to go into your first competitive game having done that.
“There are two sides to that, not only from the competitive element and fitness element but also mentally for the players to play in an empty stadium and how they cope with that.
“We’ll do that even with games we play among ourselves, we’ll play hopefully at the bet365 so we can get used to that environment.
“It will be challenging, there’s no doubt. We’ve only been back a week but it looks like it’s moving a little bit quicker than we expected.”