Championship to Return on June 20

Championship return
LEEDS, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: A general view of Elland Road, home of Leeds United Football Club on March 23, 2020 in Leeds, England (Photo by Visionhaus)

An agreement has been reached for the Championship to return on June 20, it has been confirmed.

Championship Clubs Agree to Return On June 20

Deal to Subject to Government Guidance

The return of the Championship is still subject to guidance from the Government. Safety procedures would have to be met, although it is unclear what those procedures will be.

Part of the safety procedures is likely to include testing, which is currently being undertaken by the 24 clubs in the second division. In the most recent round of testing for COVID-19, 1058 players and staff were tested, 10 of which were returned as positive.

Return in Tandem With the Premier League?

England’s top-flight is also set to return on the same weekend.

Initially, the Premier League will resume on June 17, with Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United. However, the majority of games will take place on the weekend of June 20.

Since the season has been halted, there has been a desire for the season to resume.

Several approaches for the season to resume have been discussed with the 24 clubs throughout the seasons break. However, with action set to resume, the season is set to end with the Championship play-off final, currently set in principle for 30 July.

Changes have also been made to the Championship regulations to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Clubs will be allowed to make five substitutes, and the matchday squad will also increase to 20 players.

Official Statement

Chairman of the EFL, 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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