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Interviews

Chairman: As soon as it’s safe to resume, we should

Chairman respectful of all opinions when it comes to resolution for the 2019/20 campaign...

24 April 2020

Pete Winkelman says MK Dons will be guided by the EFL with regards to what to do with the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

The EFL campaign is currently suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic and there is no clear plan of how or when football will resume.

A number of opinions and scenarios have been debated across the footballing community in recent weeks and while respectful of each different sentiment, Winkelman admits he has no strong feeling either way.

“We are members of the EFL and, therefore, we have to do what the majority view ends up deciding we do,” Winkelman said during a press call with the local media.

“This season, we have less of a strong view than we would otherwise have if we were in the top six or bottom three. For me, it all depends on time and that timing is not in anybody’s control.

“As soon as it’s safe for football to resume, I think we should. If we can do that in time to finish the season, then I would definitely be up for finishing the season.

“I don’t want to ruin next season, though. When this is all over or, at least, manageable, then I’m sure we’d all like to be looking forward to a complete new season of football – that is what usually gets us through the offseason.

“We also have to take into account, is the condition of our players. It’s like they have been injured for months – they will be losing their core fitness and that will have an impact. So there will need to be time to allow for that.

“Ultimately, though, we are just a member of the EFL and therefore we will do what the majority decides we do.”

He continued: “I think we’ll see a real effort to get things completed by the end of July, because it can get extremely complicated after that in terms of contracts and UEFA and FIFA rules.

“If the times slip from there, then it’s probably time to open another debate, which is how far do you go before you decide to not finish the season.

“That decision is not for now but if you decide not to finish, then I think voiding a season is a very difficult thing to do. If you void a season, it means it didn’t happen, so that means all the money that’s been paid for it will surely become refundable.

“If you just ended the season now, you would have promotions and relegations that some may say, haven’t been fully earned. Does that maintain integrity?

“If you do nothing and no one moves at all, that might legally work but would leave a lot of people upset.”

He concluded: "For me, it’s not just about integrity, it is about making sure everybody has had a chance to justify their position and their fate.”


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