THE future of Wanderers’ season in League One has been placed into further doubt after the EFL confirmed clubs cannot return to training until May 25 at the earliest.

The league met today to discuss issues surrounding the lockdown and have given no guarantee on whether competitive football will return, or if the 2019/20 campaign will be resumed.

But in a statement issued this evening the EFL has pushed back the date at which clubs can bring players into the training ground – leaving just 66 clear days before the July 31 deadline set by UEFA for all domestic competitions to be completed.

Previous EFL advice conveyed by chairman Rick Parry had stated that the season could be wrapped up in 56 days – but clubs are understood to require around three to four weeks’ preparation to get players fit enough to play.

Championship sides have indicated they want to resume games in line with the Premier League's expected return on June 13, subject to Government advice.

It seems increasingly likely, however, that financial and logistical issues will prevent Leagues One and Two following suit - although there has been some suggestion that play-off fixtures could be saved.

It is expected that further discussions will take place towards the end of this week.

The statement read: “The EFL Board has met today to further consider the many complex financial and operational matters resulting out of the COVID-19 crisis, including how the 2019/20 campaign is concluded.

“While there is much debate and discussion taking place publicly and privately regarding what should, or could, happen next, the EFL will continue to undertake consultation with our members before the next steps are determined. “Current attention is clearly on the immediate next steps, but the long-term impact on the League and its Clubs remains as stark as previously outlined, and solutions are still required to fill the financial hole left by the crisis. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will not be rectified simply by a return to play behind closed doors.

“In addition, the EFL is mindful of the pressing need for clarity in a number of areas, including the practicalities and timeframes of Clubs being able to facilitate a return to training. To address this, Clubs have today been issued with the latest draft of the EFL’s ‘Return to Training Protocols’, so that they can prepare appropriately.

“However, until all outstanding matters are concluded, including finalising a comprehensive testing programme on matchdays and non-matchdays, the EFL Board has informed its Clubs that a return to training should not take place until 25 May at the earliest.

“Dialogue continues with our colleagues across the footballing and political landscape regarding these and other issues, and the EFL is committed to keeping all relevant parties updated on key decisions and developments as they occur.”