The EFL have announced that the Championship will return from Saturday June 20, provided it is safe to do so.
The UK government announced over the weekend that top-level sporting events are allowed to return behind closed-doors, effectively greenlighting the Premier League’s plans to return from Wednesday June 17.
And the plan is now to resume the Championship season – in which no matches have taken place since March 8 due to the COVID-19 lockdown – from the following weekend.
An EFL statement reads: “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 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.
“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.
“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.”
It’s unclear as yet if the other two EFL divisions will follow suit, but there are concerns about the feasibility of Leagues One and Two resuming with no gate income.