COLCHESTER United have been told that they will be unable to return to training until May 25 - at the earliest.

The U's and other clubs in League Two had originally been given a May 16 return date for training but in their latest statement, the EFL have now pushed this date back.

Colchester are still waiting to hear whether or not they will be able to complete their season, which was suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It looks likely that the 2019-20 campaign will not be finished but the EFL have stated that 'there is much debate and discussion taking place publicly and privately regarding what should, or could, happen next'.

Colchester are currently sixth in the League Two table and in the play-off positions, with nine games of the existing season remaining.

The statement read: "The EFL Board has met today to further consider the many complex financial and operational matters resulting out of the COVID-19 crisis, including how the 2019/20 campaign is concluded.

"While there is much debate and discussion taking place publicly and privately regarding what should, or could, happen next, the EFL will continue to undertake consultation with our members before the next steps are determined.

"Current attention is clearly on the immediate next steps, but the long-term impact on the League and its Clubs remains as stark as previously outlined, and solutions are still required to fill the financial hole left by the crisis.

"The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will not be rectified simply by a return to play behind closed doors.

"In addition, the EFL is mindful of the pressing need for clarity in a number of areas, including the practicalities and timeframes of Clubs being able to facilitate a return to training.

"To address this, Clubs have today been issued with the latest draft of the EFL’s ‘Return to Training Protocols’, so that they can prepare appropriately.

"However, until all outstanding matters are concluded, including finalising a comprehensive testing programme on matchdays and non-matchdays, the EFL Board has informed its Clubs that a return to training should not take place until 25 May at the earliest.

"Dialogue continues with our colleagues across the footballing and political landscape regarding these and other issues, and the EFL is committed to keeping all relevant parties updated on key decisions and developments as they occur."