NEWPORT County AFC have been told they could finish the season in 56 days when the green light is given to resume after the coronavirus pandemic – with games played behind closed doors.

The Exiles and the 71 other EFL clubs have been sent a letter by chairman Rick Parry in which he reiterates the primary target is to complete the 2019/20 season.

With the three divisions suspended indefinitely because of the lockdown, sides have been told that they should not return to training until May 16 at the earliest.

When the authorities give the thumbs up to get back under way, the EFL believes a swift conclusion in August is possible.

County last played on March 10 when beaten at Carlisle and have 10 games left. Michael Flynn's side sit 15th in League Two, 12 points off the play-offs with a game in hand.

South Wales Argus:

"Whenever the decision is taken that is safe to resume, we currently estimate that the League will require approximately 56 days to complete the outstanding matches in the season (including play-offs) and we are committed to ensuring that clubs are provided an appropriate notice period to ensure you are able to prepare operationally given the scale and impact of the postponements in place," read the letter.

"How and when we return (including training) is clearly subject to change and any decisions will be taken in conjunction with the government and relevant health authorities.

"Clearly, we are in a position whereby the 2019/20 campaign will be extended, but still remain hopeful of a conclusion in the summer months.

"The EFL Board is currently working on the basis that the end-of-season Play-Offs will take place across all three divisions as normal with two-legged semi-Finals and a final, although no decision has been taken on the likely venue as it will depend on the circumstances at play at the time.

"It is our working assumption at this stage that matches will be played behind closed doors when we eventually return and as part of our contingency planning we are absolutely mindful of the need to try and mitigate the cost of this to clubs as best we can."

South Wales Argus:

The letter says that clubs should instruct players who are not currently furloughed to be given annual leave.

Parry also suggests that next season will be delayed.

He said: "Looking more long-term, the EFL must remain mindful of the implications that the extension of this season may have on the commencement of the 2020/21 campaign, although we will ensure there is a suitable break between the two, so as to allow clubs and staff sufficient time to regroup and prepare accordingly.

"I think there will be a sigh of relief as and when we reach that point, and what is clear right now is that COVID-19 continues to present hugely challenging and uncertain times for everyone, and our thoughts are with all those directly affected by the pandemic."