Bolton Wanderers' clash with Nottingham Forest will go ahead as planned as the beleaguered club have confirmed their first-team players will be available, according to a statement from the English Football League (EFL).

Already relegated from the second tier, Bolton's final home fixture with Brentford, scheduled for April 27, was postponed amid an ongoing player strike over unpaid wages - a decision that was backed by the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

The club's ownership situation remains unresolved, with a proposed takeover by Laurence Bassini having reportedly not progressed, but the EFL has indicated that Wanderers' trip to the City Ground on Sunday will take place.

"Bolton Wanderers has confirmed to the EFL that its first-team squad will be available for the club’s away fixture against Nottingham Forest at the weekend," read the statement.

"As a result, the game will take place as originally scheduled on Sunday, May 5, kick-off 12:30pm, along with all other Championship fixtures.

"The EFL board will determine on Thursday, May 2 as to what arrangements are to be put in place in regards to last week's suspended fixture with Brentford and details will be confirmed in due course."

Bristol City's Championship play-off dream remains alive after a late 2-1 win at Millwall.

The visitors had seemingly slipped out of contention after a run of one point from four matches - including Saturday's costly defeat to Derby County - left them outside the top six.

And it looked as though their slim chances of still achieving promotion to the Premier League would be extinguished when they trailed to Lee Gregory's goal at half-time on Tuesday.

But City responded admirably to Gregory's smart finish on the turn, even if they might have fallen further behind in the second half when the scorer went down in the area.

Max O'Leary kept out Shaun Williams' penalty, though, and Lee Johnson's men were level three minutes later thanks to Jamie Paterson's superb free-kick.

City kept pushing and, with eight minutes remaining, Famara Diedhiou struck to leave his side just one point behind sixth-placed Derby County, who have a game in hand, away at Swansea City on Wednesday, and Middlesbrough.

Elsewhere, Luton Town and Barnsley were both promoted to the Championship after Portsmouth and Sunderland each lost their games in hand, meaning they will have to go through the play-offs to reach the the second tier.

The Football Association (FA) has overturned Aston Villa midfielder Anwar El Ghazi's red card from the draw with Leeds United and charged Patrick Bamford with deceiving a match official.

Leeds striker Bamford and El Ghazi were involved in an altercation in the aftermath of Mateusz Klich's 72nd-minute goal, scored after the hosts refused to put the ball out of play to allow Jonathan Kodjia to receive treatment.

Bamford went down holding his face as El Ghazi swung an arm in his direction, even though contact was minimal.

El Ghazi's subsequent dismissal for violent conduct has now been rescinded, while Bamford has until Wednesday to respond to his charge of "successful deception of a match official".

In addition, both clubs have been charged with failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion shortly after Klich's controversial goal. They have until Friday to provide a response.

The game finished 1-1, with Leeds allowing Albert Adomah to equalise unchallenged – despite the best efforts of Pontus Jansson – immediately after Klich's strike.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa later said he felt it was in keeping with the spirit of English football to allow Villa to score.

The result meant Sheffield United were guaranteed promotion to the Premier League, along with Norwich City, meaning Leeds will contest the play-offs.

Former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland defender John O'Shea is set to retire at the end of the season, his club Reading have confirmed.

O'Shea, who won five Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford, announced his decision on his 38th birthday on Tuesday.

The versatile defender also won the FA Cup and two EFL Cups and was part of the United squad that won the Champions League under Alex Ferguson in the 2007-08 season.

O'Shea left United in 2011 to join Steve Bruce's Sunderland, spending seven years at the club before signing for Reading last year.

But opportunities have been limited for the veteran this term and he has started only seven Championship games for the Royals, while he was on the bench for their FA Cup defeat to United at Old Trafford in January.

"A fabulous playing career is coming to a close – today, on his 38th birthday, John O'Shea has announced he is to retire at the end of the season," Reading posted on Twitter.

"Just a very small part of his playing days have been spent with the Royals, but he has amassed a medal collection that any player would be extremely proud of, winning almost everything possible during almost 20 years as a professional footballer.

"And, off the pitch, one of the nicest, most humble and genuine people you'll meet in any walk of life. Happy birthday and thank you for all your efforts during your time at Madejski Stadium, John! We wish you well in the next chapter of your career!"

O'Shea, who won 118 caps for his country, was still a regular in Ireland squads until he retired from international football last year.

His last appearance as a senior professional could come when Reading host Birmingham City on Sunday.

The English Football League (EFL) has confirmed Bolton Wanderers' postponed fixture with Brentford will not take place this week amid an ongoing player strike.

The game was initially scheduled for April 27, but Bolton were unable to field a team after players refused to play in protest at unpaid wages - a decision backed by the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

Hopes that the game might be played on Wednesday have been dashed by the EFL, which said in a statement that Bolton had not made arrangements to play the game at the earliest opportunity.

A proposed takeover by former Watford owner Laurence Bassini has reportedly not progressed, leaving the club facing a winding up petition on May 8 should the situation remain unresolved.

An EFL statement said: "The EFL has this morning [Tuesday] confirmed that Bolton Wanderers' suspended Championship fixture with Brentford will not be played this week.

"The EFL Board will now determine on Thursday 2 May 2019 as to what arrangements are to be put in place in regards to the fixture and Bolton Wanderers will be instructed accordingly.

"As previously advised EFL Regulations do provide for any league match to be played within four days of the end of the normal playing season (Sunday 5 May 2019).

"The EFL reserves its position in relation to the club not making the arrangements to play the game at the earliest opportunity and this matter will be brought to the attention of the Independent Disciplinary Commission the club has been referred to at the appropriate time."

Bolton's relegation to League One was confirmed when they suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on April 19.

Marcelo Bielsa thinks it was in keeping with the spirit of English football for Leeds United to allow Aston Villa to score in Sunday's 1-1 Championship draw.

The home side were held at Elland Road, a result that means Sheffield United join Norwich City in securing automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Leeds would have mathematically had a chance of pipping Chris Wilder's side to second place in the table with a win, and it looked as though three points were on the cards when Mateusz Klich broke the deadlock 72 minutes in after the hosts refused to put the ball out of play and allow Jonathan Kodjia treatment.

A bust-up on the pitch ensued, with Anwar El Ghazi sent off for a clash with Patrick Bamford, but Bielsa then ordered his players to allow Albert Adomah to equalise following the restart.

Explaining his decision to Sky Sports, Leeds boss Bielsa said: "We just gave the goal back. Everyone saw the facts. We expressed our interpretation of the facts by doing what we did.

"English football is known for this [sportsmanship]. I don't have to comment on this kind of thing, which is common in England."

Villa boss Dean Smith praised Bielsa and Leeds for their actions after admitting he had asked his opposite number to allow them the chance to score.

"I asked him, and he went, 'No, I agree'. I think they all agreed," said Smith. "He was apologising, so I said they should let us walk a goal in. They had a talk about it and said 'okay'. I'm full of respect for them for that.

"Klich's just apologised to me after the game. He said, 'I shouldn't have done that, it's wrong'. But every credit to Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa for giving us the opportunity to put that right."

Smith also confirmed Villa will appeal against El Ghazi's red card, which was rewarded after Bamford reacted theatrically when the Dutchman swung an arm in his direction.

"I've seen it back and I think everyone else has, so I'll be absolutely amazed if that's not rescinded. We will certainly appeal that," he said.

Sheffield United's promotion to the Premier League was rubber-stamped on Sunday after Leeds United drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa, with Marcelo Bielsa seemingly ordering his side to allow the visitors to walk in their equalising goal.

Leeds' own hopes of climbing out of the Championship after 15 years away from the top flight had realistically slipped away thanks to successive defeats at the hands of Wigan Athletic and Brentford.

A bad-tempered first half saw both sides trade blows at Elland Road, Stuart Dallas going close with a long-range strike and John McGinn failing to make the most of a good headed chance, while Bielsa was booked for protesting to referee Stuart Attwell.

Villa, on a run of 10 straight league wins, should have taken the lead in the 53rd minute when Jonathan Kodjia blasted a great chance over the Leeds crossbar.

But the game exploded in the 72nd minute when Mateusz Klich curled in the opener, Villa feeling the ball should have been kicked out with Kodjia lying injured on the turf after a challenge in the build-up.

A mass brawl saw Attwell lose control, before he sent off Anwar El Ghazi for a clash with Leeds striker Patrick Bamford, who appeared to exaggerate any contact.

In response, Bielsa could be seen furiously gesticulating at his team, with Albert Adomah allowed to run through unopposed and slot in, although defender Pontus Jansson appeared to ignore his manager's message by trying to stop the winger.

Leeds needed a late winner to make Sheffield United wait, Tyler Roberts having an effort cleared off the line in added time, but a play-off final reunion against Villa - whose goalkeeper Jed Steer was struggling with injury late on - is now quite possible.

Norwich City secured promotion to the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Daniel Farke's side needed only a draw to guarantee their place in the top flight next season, with third-placed Leeds United six points behind them with two games remaining.

The Canaries went one better, though, with superb goals from Marco Stiepermann and Mario Vrancic sending them back to the top of the Championship and guaranteeing they will play Premier League football next season.

Sheffield United had moved top with a 2-0 win over Ipswich Town, but Norwich looked set to overtake them once more when Stiepermann drilled a good finish beyond Jayson Leutwiler with 13 minutes played.

The party atmosphere in East Anglia increased when Vrancic sent an unstoppable strike into the top-left corner from 30 yards, although the home fans were quietened when Lewis Travis beat Tim Krul with a low effort only two minutes later.

Typically one of the division's best attacking sides, Norwich were far more prosaic in the second half as they looked to hold onto their advantage, although they still managed 24 shots to Blackburn's eight.

The final whistle was eventually greeted by rapturous cheers, as Norwich celebrated being back in the top tier for the first time since being relegated in 2015-16.

Sheffield United look almost certain to join them in automatic promotion, as the Blades hold a six-point advantage over Leeds and a goal difference of 37 compared to 24.

It means anything but a win for Marcelo Bielsa's side against in-form Aston Villa on Sunday will force them to settle for a play-off spot.

Sheffield United all but sealed promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 win over relegated Ipswich Town on Saturday.

The result means the Blades have a six-point advantage over third-placed Leeds United, who host Aston Villa at Elland Road in their game in hand on Sunday.

Scott Hogan turned home Jack O'Connell's cross in the 24th minute to put the Blades on course for victory at Bramall Lane, though they had to be patient in their pursuit of a second goal.

Oliver Norwood's free-kick was kept out by the post, while David McGoldrick and John Egan spurned headed opportunities after the interval.

However, United's dominance saw Ipswich's resistance eventually broken in the 71st minute, O'Connell nodding in John Fleck's corner from close range.

Leeds need to win both their remaining Championship fixtures and United to slip up on the final day at Stoke City to finish above their Yorkshire rivals, though Chris Wilder's side also have the added cushion of a superior goal difference.

Rotherham United suffered relegation from the Championship on a day when Derby County gave their play-off hopes a huge boost.

The Millers succumbed to defeat at high-flying West Brom, meaning Millwall can afford to breathe easy going into their final two games.

At the top end of the table, the Rams claimed a potentially crucial victory over fellow play-off hopefuls Bristol City.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough kept pace with Frank Lampard's side courtesy of a come-from-behind win over lowly Reading.

MILLERS DOWN AND OUT

Having started the season among the favourites for the drop, Rotherham ultimately failed to overcome the odds.

But Paul Warne's side threatened an upset at The Hawthorns on Saturday, with Clark Robertson's header handing them a lead they held until the final 13 minutes.

The Baggies hit back with a quick-fire double through Jay Rodriguez from the spot and Rekeem Harper's strike.

That left the visitors four points behind 21st-placed Millwall – who drew 0-0 with Stoke City in the early game – with only one match left for the Yorkshire club.

Rotherham will join Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers – whose match with Brentford was postponed amid a player strike – in League One next season.

DERBY EDGE CLOSER

Derby headed to Ashton Gate just one point ahead of Bristol City, but a 2-0 win put them in the driving seat in the race for sixth place.

Lampard's men were on the back foot for long spells against the Robins, who fell behind to a Tom Lawrence goal.

The hosts' hopes of a turnaround were hindered by Antoine Semenyo's red card for a foul on Tom Huddlestone, with Jayden Bogle capitalising to double Derby's tally.

The Rams head to Swansea City in midweek before finishing the season at home to West Brom, while Lee Johnson's side – who are now winless in four – have Millwall and then Hull City.

 

PULIS KEEPS RAMS IN HIS SIGHTS

Middlesbrough are the side most likely to overtake Derby in the home straight, although Tony Pulis' men have just one game left.

Boro's 2-1 win over Reading saw them stay level with Derby on 70 points, with a goal difference that is six worse.

Lewis Wing cancelled out Danny Loader's fine finish before Britt Assombalonga netted the winner from a penalty.

The Royals had the consolation of being assured of safety courtesy of Rotherham's loss, although a far superior goal difference was always likely to keep them safe.

 

JOSTLING FOR POSITION

There were several games in which sides technically had nothing to play for, but that did not mean they were short on entertainment.

Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday shared a 3-3 draw in the pick of the bunch, while Hull came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Swansea.

Elsewhere, Birmingham City settled for a point at home to Wigan Athletic and Nottingham Forest won 1-0 at QPR, who would have equalised in the 88th minute had Nahki Wells not failed to convert from the spot.

Bolton Wanderers' home game against Brentford has been called off after their players refused to play in protest at unpaid wages.

The troubled club "regrettably" confirmed less than 24 hours before the scheduled kick-off time that the Championship fixture would not be taking place on Saturday.

The EFL described the developments as "disappointing" in a statement on its website, adding that Bolton are now guilty of misconduct and will be referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission.

Their players had released a statement earlier on Friday that they would not be fulfilling the remaining two matches in the season due to monies owed - a decision that won the backing of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

Both the squad and coaching staff members have still not been paid for March and first-team players reportedly refused to train for 48 hours this month in protest after club workers also went unpaid.

"This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own," the statement from the players read. "The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently.

"These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families."

Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini last week agreed a last-minute takeover of the club to prevent them going into administration. The deal hoped to lead to the settlement of a High Court case related to an unpaid tax bill.

Bolton's relegation to League One was confirmed last week by their 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Bolton Wanderers players are refusing to play their last two Championship matches of the season due to unpaid wages – a decision that has won the backing of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

Squad and coaching staff members have still not been paid for March and first-team players reportedly refused to train for 48 hours this month in protest after club workers also went unpaid.

In a statement released on Friday, the players said they will not take to the field for fixtures against Brentford and Nottingham Forest until the matter is resolved.

"This situation is creating mounting mental, emotional and financial burdens for people through no fault of their own," the statement read. "The mental pressure has affected some people to the extent that they feel they are unable to perform their jobs sufficiently.

"These are unprecedented circumstances and are affecting every aspect of our lives, placing great strain on ourselves and our families.

"During this time, we have remained patient in hope of some explanation but information from the club has been extremely limited and very confusing. What we have been told changes constantly.

"With deep regret, we have decided not to fulfil our remaining fixtures unless we are paid. We understand that this will disappoint our fans and for this we sincerely apologise.

"We realise this may be seen as drastic action but we feel we have no other options left. This decision has not been taken lightly and is not a reaction to this one particular incident.

"We have suffered numerous issues this season, and recent seasons, brought on by the mismanagement of this club. We have been operating in a near untenable environment for some time and it is the accumulation of these issues that have resulted in our decision."

The PFA has lent its support to the Bolton players, saying: "The players have shown great patience and loyalty towards the club all season, but today, they have reached a point where action is necessary.

"The PFA has been working with the club since the beginning of the season and we have done all we can to resolve this issue including giving Bolton Wanderers a substantial loan to cover players' salaries in December. 

"We will continue to support and represent the players and work towards a longer-term solution in the best interests of the players and Bolton Wanderers Football Club."

Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini last week agreed a last-minute takeover of the club to prevent them going into administration.

Under-fire Bolton chairman Ken Anderson said he was "very pleased" to hand over ownership of the club, with the deal hoped to lead to the settlement of a High Court case related to an unpaid tax bill.

Bolton's relegation to League One was confirmed last week by their 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, with the club having been in the Premier League as recently as 2012. 

Frank Lampard has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA) after Derby County's Championship game against Birmingham City.

Lampard confronted referee Simon Hooper after a 2-2 draw last Friday, the Derby boss feeling his side had been denied a penalty.

"The players gave everything and if we'd got the clear penalty on Craig Bryson, it would have won a very tight game," Lampard told reporters.

Lampard has until 18:00 BST on Monday to respond to an FA charge that alleges "his language and/or behaviour on the field of play after the conclusion of the fixture amounts to improper conduct".

It is the second time this season Lampard, in his first campaign as a manager, has been in trouble with the FA.

In September the former Chelsea and England midfielder accepted a fine of £2,000 after he was sent off during a defeat to Rotherham United.

Derby are on track to qualify for the play-offs, with Lampard's side sixth in the table and with a game in hand over seventh-placed Middlesbrough.

Norwich City and Leeds United dominate this season's Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Championship Team of the Year, providing three players each.

Leaders Norwich, who are all but guaranteed to seal automatic promotion to the Premier League, have Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis included.

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki, the league's top scorer with 28 Championship goals this season, is up front alongside Sheffield United's Billy Sharp and Tammy Abraham, who has hit 25 league goals for Aston Villa in his loan spell from Chelsea.

Sheffield United, second in the table and three points clear of Leeds with two games to go, also provide Oliver Norwood among the midfielders, while Villa playmaker Jack Grealish makes the cut.

Despite an untimely loss of form seeming set to land them in the play-offs, Leeds have defensive duo Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson both in the side, along with Pablo Hernandez.

The only player named in the PFA's XI who does not feature for one of the Championship's top three or fifth-placed Villa is the goalkeeper, Darren Randolph, who plies his trade at play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough.

West Brom strike pair Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle, who have scored 21 and 23 Championship goals respectively this season, are among the players to miss out.

There was also no place for Brentford's Neal Maupay, second behind Pukki in the scoring charts, or his team-mate Said Benrahma, whose 14 Championship assists is a league-high.

Birmingham City's Che Adams was named on the three-man shortlist for Championship's Player of the Season award, which was won by Pukki, but he did not gain selection despite netting 22 league goals.


PFA Championship Team of the Year in full:

Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough); Max Aarons (Norwich), Liam Cooper (Leeds), Pontus Jansson (Leeds), Jamal Lewis (Norwich); Pablo Hernandez (Leeds), Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa); Teemu Pukki (Norwich), Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa), Billy Sharp (Sheffield United).

Johnny Sexton's younger brother Jerry could line up against his sibling in the Pro14 next season after agreeing a three-year deal with Southern Kings.

Formerly of Exeter Chiefs and London Irish, lock Jerry Sexton moved to Championship side Jersey Reds in 2017 and has started every league match since.

"Jerry has contributed a huge amount during his time in Jersey and to see another player get the opportunity to play at the next level is very rewarding for the coaches and should also motivate the players to continue to work towards reaching their own goals," said Jersey's director of rugby Harvey Biljon.

"We will all enjoy watching Jerry play in the Pro14 and potentially even see the 'Sexton v Sexton' match-up.

"I trust he will enjoy South Africa but we hope that we'll see Jerry in Jersey again in the future."

The Kings, based in Port Elizabeth, joined the Pro14 for 2017-18 along with fellow South African side the Cheetahs, although they won only one game in their maiden campaign.

They have fared slightly better this time around, recording two victories and a draw, their two Conference B fixtures against Johnny Sexton's Leinster ending in 59-19 and 38-31 defeats.

The elder Sexton was influential in guiding his side to a second successive European Champions Cup final on Sunday, kicking a dozen points as the holders saw off Toulouse in the last four.

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