Breaking: Football manager Neil Warnock catches coronavirus just as EFL announces fans to be let back into stadiums this weekend

The current boss of Championship side Middlesbrough has caught the coronavirus the club confirmed.

The 71 year old has now gone into isolation after feeling unwell and being confirmed as positive.

“The club can confirm that our manager Neil Warnock has returned a positive test for Covid-19 and will be spending a period in isolation in accordance with guidelines,” Boro said in a statement.

“Neil is in good spirits and we look forward to welcoming him back after his period in isolation.”

Warnock, who has managed sixteen professional clubs in the English football league and the Premier League, will miss this weekend’s ‘pilot scheme’ which will be the first time letting fans back into stadia since the pandemic started.

1,000 fans will be let into the Riverside stadium for the game against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The EFL say crowds will be capped at a capacity of 1,000 as discussions continue with the Government about a return for supporters in greater numbers.

Boro vs Bournemouth, Luton vs Derby and Norwich vs Preston were initially selected as three games where fans will be permitted.

However, the EFL have now confirmed Luton have opted out of the programme.

There are a further four games in League One and three in League Two.

EFL Chair, Rick Parry said: “It’s encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our Clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week.

“The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge, social distancing can be applied safely. By extending across more EFL Clubs we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month.

“The requirement to welcome spectators back through turnstiles has not diminished in any way, the financial challenges facing EFL Clubs have been explained on numerous occasions, they are substantial and a problem that requires immediate solutions.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said: “I know that many fans are eager to return to football and that jobs depend on this too, so fans will welcome news that the EFL will be running number capped, covid secure, and socially distanced pilots this weekend. This will help us build the evidence base to see how we can return fans safely in greater numbers as soon as it is safe to do so.”


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