As we await news on whether the next couple of games against Shrewsbury and Blackpool will go ahead, the EFL have responded to criticism from SAFC over their handling of the Covid outbreak at our club.

An EFL spokesperson said: “The safety and well-being of players is a priority and the protocols that have been developed are designed to protect individuals and, if followed, will help prevent the spread of infection. All EFL Clubs are aware of the processes and steps needed to take in the event of positive cases of COVID-19 and the impact this could have on their wider playing squads. Throughout our extensive discussions on Tuesday, it was made clear to the management of Sunderland that the option existed for them to inform the League they were unable to fulfil the fixture, but this would result in the circumstances being investigated as a result of the Club being required to fulfil their fixture obligations in accordance with the regulations. This is consistent with the approach taken with other Clubs who have been faced with similar situation and the requirement to self-isolate players and staff in line with EFL and Government guidance. As Sunderland has confirmed they opted not to do this for the reasons they have identified and to play in the fixture. That decision rested with the Club as only they can make the determination on whether they had sufficient players available from their squad to fulfil the fixture.”