Garry Monk: Sheffield Wednesday boss keen for Championship restart a week later

Garry Monk
Garry Monk's Sheffield Wednesday were 15th in the Championship when the season was suspended in March

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk believes plans to restart the Championship season on the same weekend as the Premier League are "unfair".

Second-tier sides have been allowed in full contact training this week, several days behind top-flight teams.

The EFL has said their proposed restart date of 20 June is "provisional" and based on safety requirements being met.

It added there is "significant support within the Championship to get back playing as soon as possible".

Asked if the EFL should consider moving the restart date back by a week, Monk told BBC Look North: "In my opinion, from a welfare point of view and from what we've believed all the way through in what we were doing - we've always believed we were working a week behind the Premier League - so I think that should happen.

"Whether we have a say in that remains to be seen. You'd like to think it would happen.

"All I can do is control what I can control and, now that it's been announced, we have to try to prepare the players as best we can to start on 20 June.

"I understand the reasons why the EFL want to start on that day, but I think it is unfair on us, in terms of the Premier League are starting on that day.

"They've had longer in contact training, a longer period in training than we have. Of course we would like the same and that's always been the consensus. Hopefully common sense prevails."

The Premier League is scheduled to restart on 17 June with two midweek matches before the whole league returns to action the weekend of 20-21 June.

There has been a mixed response among Championship clubs to the potential restart date.

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate, Bristol City chief executive Mark Ashton and Luton defender Sonny Bradley were among those to welcome the plan to resume the campaign on that date, but QPR chief executive Lee Hoos said he was "appalled" that players would be expected to play games less than three weeks after resuming full-contact training.

Reacting to Hoos' comments, an EFL spokesperson said: "The overall situation remains complex with a number of moving parts to work through in order to get matches in the Championship up and running again, so collectively we need to be flexible in our approach at this time.

"Importantly, we will continue to have regular dialogue and consult with our clubs in the coming days and weeks on all the operational challenges ahead of games restarting - subject, of course, to all safety requirements and government guidance being met."

There have been no games played in the Championship since 8 March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are 108 matches remaining in the second tier's regular season to be played behind closed doors, plus the play-off semi-finals and final, provisionally scheduled for the end of July.