English Football League (EFL) have announced that the Sky Bet Championship is provisionally set to resume the 2019-20 season on 20 June.
This announcement comes nearly a week after teams returned to training but remains subject to strict provision of all safety requirements and Government guidance being met.
Clubs will also need clearance from their local authorities in order to be able to hold matches at their home stadiums.
Speaking of the decision to announce a return date of 20 June, EFL Chair Rick Parry stressed that the return date is currently “only provisional and will only be confirmed once we have met all the requirements,”
Parry also stated that this season must be completed “in a safe manner…” and requires a “significant effort” with clubs playing the nine remaining rounds within a short period of time.
Discussions are also underway in regard to consider making changes to regulations to allow for use of five substitutions in remaining nine rounds, plus an increase in number of matchday squad from 18 to 20 players.
Parry however clarified that “the health, safety and well-being of all participants, staff and supporters remain our top priority.” as teams prepare to commence contact training.
EFL have also confirmed that the Championship Play-Off Final will be held on or around 30 July 2020, with final details subject to confirmation as the league continues discussions with their broadcast partner – Sky Sports.
Fixture schedule alongside broadcast selections and details on iFollow and streaming services will be announced in due course.
What is at Stake?
Leeds enter the final nine games sat atop from West Bromwich Albion by a single point as both teams go for automatic promotion, with Fulham a further six points back in third place and a Play-Off spot.
Brentford and Nottingham Forest will be hoping to mount late charges for a automatic promotion spot from fourth and fifth position respectively, whilst Preston round out the Play-Off positions
Bristol City, Cardiff and QPR meanwhile will be amongst ten teams aiming to snatch that final Play-Off spot from Preston, as just nine points currently separate the sixth placed Lilywhites and Birmingham City in 16th.
Down at the bottom, Barnsley and Luton prop up the table whilst third-bottom Charlton are just two points from safety, with five teams including Middlesbrough and Stoke still dangling above the relegation zone by up to three points.