QPR boss Warburton wants season paused as Covid-19 cases rise

QPR manager Mark Warburton believes the football season should be paused because of the increase in Covid-19 infections.

Rangers’ game at Luton on Saturday and Brentford’s home match against Bristol City are among a number of recent fixtures to have been called off because of outbreaks.

Fulham’s match against Tottenham on Wednesday was also postponed.

And with the problem expected to worsen over the coming weeks, Warburton believes a so-called circuit breaker is now required.

He said: “We’re trying to fit an ordinary season into an extraordinary year.

“You’re seeing games called off at the very highest level at short notice now.

“I fear, looking at the numbers – 55,000 new infections and nigh-on a thousand deaths now in a 24-hour period – we are facing the crunch time.

“Do we have a circuit breaker? My belief is yes. That’s just my opinion.

“Would it have ramifications for the football programme? Absolutely. We’d have to adapt.

“But above all else the health and welfare of everyone has to be of paramount importance.”

Rangers’ visit to Luton was called off after members of the Hatters camp tested positive for Covid-19.

The postponement came 24 hours after the English Football League issued clubs with new guidelines on how to contain the virus.

They include further restrictions at training grounds, where players are no longer being given meals.

Warburton explained: “We had an EFL directive that came out yesterday, which had an immediate impact in terms of how we act at the training ground and what we can and can’t do.

“It’s difficult. It’s very challenging. The use of dressing rooms, showers, constant wearing of masks, the lack of food being prepared – it’s very tough on professional athletes but we are facing an unprecedented challenge.”