Stoke City have begun training as normal this morning – but with every expectation that tomorrow’s game at Reading will be postponed.
EFL chief are believed to be poised to announce that all this weekend’s matches will be postponed because of the escalating coronavirus crisis.
And the EFL meeting is also thought to have called off next week’s games – which for Stoke was Middlesbrough at home on Wednesday and Wigan away three days later.
There is then a two-week international break, effectively meaning a three-week break in league matches.
Stoke have nine Championship fixtures to fulfil and it looks increasingly like the league season will have to be extended beyond its original May 4 end.
Yesterday, manager Michael O’Neill insisted it was business as usual behind the scenes and that his players were not unduly concerned by the coronavirus pandemic.
He stated: “The players are not expressing any concerns,” said the Stoke boss. “We talk to the players if and when is necessary on what is the right thing to do, in terms of their preparation and how they in the building and away from the building.
“And the medical team has discussed that in detail as well.
“I don’t sense any real fear or negativity around it. The players are like everyone else, a little bit in the unknown, and they are just following all the guidelines given to them to make sure it doesn’t affect us.
“If we are ordered to play games behind closed doors, that’s what we will have to do.”