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‘Pause the season and resume when it’s right to do so’ – O’Neill outlines Ipswich Town’s stance when it comes to football’s coronavirus break

PUBLISHED: 16:49 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:49 16 March 2020

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans and general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans and general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill. Photo: Steve Waller

Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says he would prefer the season to be completed in full, but does concede that would present significant challenges.

All Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two action has been suspended until April 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA are meeting tomorrow to discuss the likely postponement of this summer’s European Championship, as well as the Champions League and Europa League, while the Premier League and EFL are also meeting this week to look at the football calendar going forward.

MORE: A 10-day break for players, two staff members in self isolation and some big decisions to make regarding season tickets

Several options as to how this season can be concluded will be under debate; including calling it null and void now, finishing it as soon as possible with games played behind closed doors, and resuming the season in front of supporters later in the year.

“I think the season to be resumed as and when it safe to do so is my preferred option and I would think most supporters and clubs would see it that way,” said O’Neill, speaking to the club website.

“There so many different factors that have to go into the equation though when we are talking about the different scenarios from a football point of view, a business point of view and a global point of view.

MORE: EFL won’t ‘respond to inappropriate hypothetical solutions’ regarding conclusion to 2019/20 season

“It’s unknown territory for everyone. If you look at ending the season now, what would happen with promotion, relegation, the cups?

“For me, the easiest solution would be to pause the season and resume when it’s right to do so. The hardest thing to determine of course is how long that might take. No one knows that and that presents challenges.”

Ipswich Town are currently 10th in the League One table having lost seven of their last nine games.

MORE: ‘The only fair and reasonable thing to do is declare the whole season null and void’ – Brady on coronavirus crisis

They have seen only two games postponed by the initial break imposed – last Saturday’s scheduled clash at Bristol Rovers and this Saturday’s scheduled visit of Portsmouth. They were due a free weekend at the end of March anyway due to the fact that was when they had initially been scheduled to face Bury (subsequently expelled from the league).

Town have eight fixtures left to fulfil in 2019/20, five of them at home.

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