EFL agree provisional start date of June 20 for the Championship to resume …despite ten players and staff from eight clubs testing positive for coronavirus’
- The EFL have agreed a provisional date of June 20 for Championship to resume
- Importance stressed of completing season in similar timeline to Premier League
- Anticipated season could conclude with Championship play-off final on July 30
- The date for the restart is subject to proviso that government guidance is met
- Breakthrough comes despite ten individuals testing positive for coronavirus
- Discussions held about increasing number of substitutes permitted to five
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The EFL have agreed a provisional date of June 20 for the Championship to resume.
England’s second tier is poised to return next month subject to the proviso that government guidance is met.
The EFL stressed the importance of completing the season in a similar timeline to the Premier League in order to avoid possible issues with promoted and relegated clubs.
The EFL have agreed on a provisional date of June 20 for Championship to return to action
This step forward comes despite ten individuals from eight Championship clubs testing positive for coronavirus in the latest round of tests.
1,058 players and staff from England’s 24 Championship clubs were tested for the virus on Thursday and Friday.
The decision to resume the Championship comes after the Premier League announced a return date of June 17.
A statement from the EFL read: ‘Following Saturday’s announcement by the Government to allow elite sporting events to return behind closed doors, the EFL has this weekend agreed to a provisional restart date of the weekend of 20 June 2020 for matches in the Sky Bet Championship.
The EFL stressed the importance of completing season in similar timeline to Premier League
‘The date is subject to the strict proviso that all safety requirements and Government guidance is met; and that Clubs receive clearance from their local authorities in order to stage matches at their home grounds.’
It is anticipated that the Championship season could finish with the play-off final around July 30, while there is also the possibility that five substitutes could be used in games and the amount of players in the matchday squad could be increased to 20.
There have been any games played in the Championship since March 8, with the season having been suspended on on March 13.
Leeds are currently top of the Championship, one point ahead of their closest challengers West Brom.
The statement continued: ‘After discussing various approaches, and, the importance of completing the season in a similar timeline to that of the Premier League to avoid any potential issues with promoted and relegated Clubs, the Sky Bet Championship season is set to conclude with the Championship Play-Off Final on or around 30 July 2020. Final details are still to be confirmed following further discussions with the League’s Broadcast partner, Sky Sports.
It is anticipated that the Championship season could finish with the play-off final on July 30
‘During the weekend’s discussions it was further agreed to consider changing Regulations to permit the use of five substitutes in the remaining fixtures and, also increasing the matchday squad from 18 to 20 players. Discussions will continue with Championship Clubs in this respect.
‘The fixture schedule, broadcast selections and details on iFollow/streaming services will follow in due course.’
EFL Chair Rick Parry said: ‘With Sky Bet Championship Clubs set to return to full contact training later this week and following Saturday’s Government announcement, we are edging closer towards resuming the 2019/20 EFL season.. We have therefore today consulted with the Board’s Championship Directors and agreed to fixtures restarting behind closed doors on 20 June.
‘Whilst matches will unfortunately have to take place without supporters, we are working with our broadcast partners, EFL Championship Clubs and all relevant stakeholders to broadcast the remaining 108 games plus Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs either live on Sky Sports, iFollow or a Club’s equivalent streaming service.
‘We must stress that at this stage the date is only provisional and will only be confirmed once we have met all the requirements, as the health, safety and well-being of all participants, staff and supporters remains our top priority.
‘Clearly completing the season in a safe manner is going to require a significant effort by all concerned and, whilst not unprecedented, it will need Clubs to play a significant number of matches over a relatively short period of time.’
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