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EFL agree provisional Championship return date

The EFL has released the following statement this evening, outlining a provisional date for Swansea City and their Championship rivals to return to action:

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 June 20 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 July 30 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.  

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 June 20. 

“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.”


  • This leaves me feeling distinctly underwhelmed.

    Totally aside from the bigger issues at play presently I cannot feel any excitement over the prospects of watching a bunch of streamed live games , the majority of which will probably be meaningless.

    Realistically we are going nowhere this season. We are to all intents and purposes safe from relegation but have been nowhere near consistent enough to put together a run for the play-offs whatever the maths of the league table say. 

    Even if we did, can anybody really get excited about playing a game at Wembley behind closed doors. A day out for the fans with no fans present?

    If by some miracle we did go up the chances are that the first half of next season would be played behind closed doors thus taking away any practical benefit of being in the Premier League. Throw in that the experience in Germany suggests that the lack of atmosphere benefits the bigger clubs and my heart sinks.

    Or am I just being uber-miserable.
  • If we start the second half of the season like we started the first @Garbo we will be back sitting at the top table next year. it's great in Canada since they legalized pot - everything has a rose tinted aspect!
  • Crickey Garbo, I'll buy you a half pint of beer and put it in a pint glass for you if we ever meet .
    I can't bloody wait for the footie to resume. Bring it on. 
  • I thought we were just starting to hit our best form just before lock down with getting Joe back from injury which is a big part of our spine and the loanees beginning to gel.
  • I honestly think anything could happen results wise, wouldn't surprise me if we went up and wouldn't if we lost every game!!
  • Surprised you thought we were hitting our best form Colin , one win in 8 doesn't  , agree having Joe back will be important  as is Byers ,

    Who knows what will happen ,  win 5 out of 6 like we did at the start of the season ?
  • Hi Malc,  I think form and results are different, a team can be in form and still lose games and visa versa. Inevitably results will follow the longer a team stays at their best. I really thought our side were starting to gel together quite well before the interruption.

    bly the results will come if a team stays in

  • Ignore that at the bottom of my post, I have been fighting with my cursor.
  • Agree up to a point Colin , we were competitive  but didn't  look like turning teams over and winning games , our record against  the bigger teams were poor .
  • Hi Colin. I dont know if you've been following the Bundeliga since its return but it really is football Jim but not as we know it. If the experience of Germany is  reflected here then dont expect too many home wins. The clubs who rely on passionate support to push them through have tended to lose out  (in particular Union Berlin) while the better technical teams have tended to fare best - probably unsurprising when games are played in a training ground atmosphere. The use of five subs also arguably favours the bigger clubs with deep squads. Quite where that would leave us in Championship terms is debateable.

    I still find it bizarre that you can finish a season employing different rules to the earlier part, but then again, this isnt about sport but about money. If it helps the club survive then theres something gained from these televised training ground exercises but I remain a sceptic!  
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