The English Football League (EFL) has announced that the Sky Bet Championship has been given a provisional date of 20 June to restart the 2019/2020 campaign.

EFL’s restart date is subject to change, with matches only going ahead on the date if all safety requirements and government guidelines are met. Moreover, clubs must receive clearance from their local authorities so that matches can be staged at home grounds.

EFL Chair Rick Parry stated: “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.”

In order to coincide with the Premier League’s revised schedule, the EFL has also confirmed that it looks to conclude the season on 30 July with the Championship play-off final. In addition, for the remainder of the campaign, clubs will be able to use five substitutes during a game and also have an increased matchday squad of 20 as opposed to 18. 

Last week the Premier League revealed all of its broadcast partners’ scheduled games, with the BBC securing four ‘free-to-air’ matches for the first time since the competition’s creation. Akin to this, Perry has also revealed that the EFL will ensure that all of the remaining 108 games will be broadcast or live-streamed either on Sky Sports or directly by the clubs competing. 

Perry continued: “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.”

The announcement follows football’s worldwide resumption with the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga all scheduled to restart this month. Nevertheless, the EFL has yet to officially announce the future of England’s third and fourth-tier with the organisation still discussing possible outcomes with the league’s teams. 

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