Hull City 'call for Championship to be voided'

Hull City have reportedly written to the Football League to insist the Championship season should be voided despite coach Grant McCann's confidence they will perform better in a resumed season.

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The Tigers are not the only second-tier club with reservations about restarting the 2019-20 campaign – Huddersfield Town and Barnsley are others thought to be dubious – but it has been reported they have put their “serious concerns” in writing to the governing body and the division's other 23 teams.

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Hull were two points above the relegation zone when coronavirus brought the campaign to a halt with nine games to play.

CONFIDENCE: Grant McCann believes Hull City will return in much better shape to avoid relegation - if they return

The Daily Telegraph is reporting it has seen an email from vice-chairman Ehab Allam to Football League chairman Rick Parry. In it he is said to have raised concerns about the sporting integrity of the competition and the legal issues an infection could cause, and warned he will vote against potential changes which would allow contracts due to expire on June 30 to be extended. Hull have 11 players in that position.

With Championship clubs not yet allowed to resume training – Wednesday's Football League board meeting will discuss a possible Wednesday return – in practical terms it will not be possible to complete the season by June 30, let alone have the play-offs the League wants. Their plan is to condense the remaining nine regular-season matches over five weekends and the midweeks between them.

“I do not presently believe that the 2019-20 season can be safely completed without unnecessarily exposing Championship clubs to potential legal action in the event that one or more of its employees (or their family members) were to become infected with covid-19,” Allam is quoted as saying.

“As made clear on last week’s conference call, I am against the 2019-20 season being completed under the present circumstances and in light of the wider public health issues facing the United Kingdom at the present time.

“My position remains that the season should be voided and (with no further games played and efforts instead being focused upon ensuring a safe return in the advance of next season, whenever that ultimately takes place), with this means of drawing a conclusion to the 2019-20 season (including how the important questions of promotion and relegation would then be addressed) being put to a formal vote pursuant to the EFL’s Articles of Association.”

Without a win since New Year's Day, Hull were in grave danger of relegation. The day before the suspension of matches, they were due to host Charlton Athletic, who knew victory would lift them out of the relegation zone, dropping the Tigers into it.

Hull were without nine injured players for their last game, a 5-1 defeat at Stoke City, with some not expected to play again this season. They also sold their two highest goalscorers, Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki, on January's deadline day. Now, with their injuries healed, McCann says he will be “much more confident” if his team takes to the field again this season.

“We initially started the season really well,” said McCann. “Up until New Year’s Day we were just outside the play-offs when we won at Sheffield Wednesday. We felt really good about ourselves.

“Then everything just hit us.

“People can say it’s excuses but to lose three or four big players out of your team in the Championship is huge. We lost 10 (to injury), it was a complete disaster.

“If you want to add losing Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki to that, it took its toll on the whole group.

“If we do start again I’d feel a lot more confident and comfortable knowing we’ve got some of our big players back. We see light at the end of the tunnel now with everyone fit.”

League Two clubs have already requested their season be abandoned, although they do still hope to hold play-offs. Their League One counterparts will discuss their position after Wednesday's board meeting, most probably on Friday.

It is the stance of the Football League and the Premier League that they want to complete the season if it is safe to do so. Playing Championship games as opposed to matches in League One and Two will do far more to protect the League's £119m broadcast deal, which provides vital revenue for its clubs.

Leeds United are top of the Championship, with Barnsley bottom and Middlesbrough two and Huddersfield three points above the relegation zone.

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