Prevent Android upgrade

An Android box was originally running Android 9. During the initial setup there was an automatic upgrade to Android 10.
A CoreELEC installation was then not possible because of the Android 10 bootloader.

Can such an automatic Android upgrade be prevented during the initial setup?
Or can CoreELEC be installed directly without initially setting up a box?

Just don’t connect Android to the internet? Most my boxes I never even boot android nevermind set it up, but those I do I just keep disconnected.

Do you use your boxes without initial Android installation? With CoreELEC? New box and CoreELEC installed via SD card or stick?

With other boxes do you use Android without an internet connection? How does it work? Then no app, YouTube etc. works?

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