EFL announces restart date for Sheffield Wednesday and the Championship

The EFL have have revealed a start date for the return of the Championship.

Sunday, 31st May 2020, 10:26 pm
Steven Fletcher and his Sheffield Wednesday team mates are pencilled in for a return to action on June 30 (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Sheffield Wednesday and the rest of the division will provisionally plan to return to action on June 20, the same weekend as the Premier League’s first full round of fixtures.

It was stressed in a statement by the league’s governing body that “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.”

The season is scheduled to finish with the Play Off Final on around July 30.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

As with the rest of football, fans will not be allowed into games and there will be a further announcement as to how matches will be broadcast.

Final details, the statement adds, are still to be confirmed following further discussions with the League’s Broadcast partner, Sky Sports.

In a slight change to rules, five substitutions will be allowed and matchday squads will will go from 18 to 20.

EFL Chairman 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.”

Football shutdown on March 13 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.