Leeds United given provisional date of Championship restart from EFL

LEEDS UNITED'S Championship promotion quest is set to resume over the weekend of June 20.

By Lee Sobot
Sunday, 31st May 2020, 10:58 pm

The Championship season has been suspended since the middle of March due to the country's battle against coronavirus with Marcelo Bielsa's table-topping Whites having not played since the 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield Town on March 7.

However, the EFL have always stated their intention to fulfill all remaining games and action in English football's second tier is now set to resume over the third full weekend in June with games played behind closed doors.

The Premier League have already announced their intention to resume games on Wednesday, June 17 with every game shown live.

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DATE: For Leeds United's Championship restart. Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

And the EFL are also working with their broadcast partners, Championship clubs and all relevant stakeholders to broadcast the remaining 108 games plus play-offs either live on Sky Sports, iFollow or a club’s equivalent streaming service.

Championship teams could also be permitted to use five substitutes in all remaining games with match-day squads also potentially increased from 18 to 20 players.

A statement released by the EFL on Sunday evening read: "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.

"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 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.”