A SWINDON Town player tested for coronavirus does not have the infection, director of football Paul Jewell has revealed.

Since professional football was suspended on March 13, the Town squad have been off training, a move that will now be extended into next week given the recent decision to halt a return to EFL action until at least April 30.

Jewell and manager Richie Wellens had been planning to hold a meeting with their players last Monday, but that was cancelled when an unnamed player felt unwell.

However, test results showed no coronavirus infection.

“Last Sunday I had a meeting with manager Richie Wellens and we were going to get the players in the next day and explain they would be having a few days off,” Jewell told the mirror.

“But one of the players wasn’t feeling well so we shut the whole place down.

“Luckily tests showed he hadn’t got the virus.

“We were due to start training again on Friday, but with the ruling about a further delay to any planned restart of the season we have put back the training for another week.”

The uncertainties that hang over the game remain a challenge for all involved in an unheralded situation for the sport.

Jewell added: “Even the most experienced managers in the country have never had to put up with anything like this. It’s bizarre.

"I sat down with Richie and we have to plan for something we have had no experience about. Meanwhile, players are climbing the walls.

“Normally at this time of the year, you’re looking to get the rest of the season out of the way and look forward to your holidays in the summer.

“I don’t think anyone can get their head around it. If we start in early May and we finish at the end of June with the play-offs to follow, it could then be the middle of July. Instead of going back for pre-season training some clubs, including ours, could still be playing.

“Many players would have booked their holidays. They might lose them and their money, which they can’t afford. Players’ contracts are up at the end of June and so you might be having to ask players to go on playing longer without any guarantees of a new contract.

“It’s a real test for everyone involved in football; owners, chairmen, chief ¬executives, managers, players. No-one knows the answer because no-one has been here before.”

The financial impact of the coronavirus shutdown also has Jewell fearful for the future of lower league clubs.

The director of football worries that administration may be a real possibility for some of Town’s League Two rivals with the vital matchday revenue many rely on and budget for missing for the best part of two months.

“I’m frightened for the future, 100 per cent,” he said. “For EFL clubs, especially in the bottom two divisions, it’s all about people coming through the gate. The money they generate is paramount to us.

“That’s not the case in the Premier League. In the old days they used to say that supporters paid the players’ wages, but at the top level that is no longer the case with the vast amounts of money from TV and sponsorship.

“But at our level it’s completely different; we need that money. Owners can’t keep on putting their hands into their pockets to pay wages for players and staff with nothing coming in. The situation is serious. It really is serious at the level we are operating at.

“Many of the players in the lower divisions will be more and more dependent on whether the owners can keep dipping into their pockets. It’s like working from hand to mouth.

“I can see clubs forced to go into administration through no fault of their own. The £50million set aside in the week by the EFL will stop the bleeding to a certain extent, but it won’t repair the wound; it won’t be able to prevent a cash crisis the longer the ban on football continues.

“We know the Premier League is awash with money and, of course, some of it could be handed down to the EFL, but I can’t see it happening.”