Championship clubs have agreed to resume the season, with a preliminary date of June 20 scheduled in thus far.
Board members of the English second-tier’s clubs have all come to an agreement to return to action following the recent suspension of football.
The EFL chairman Rick Parry revealed today that the date will need to be confirmed once all safety requirements have been met, although fans will of course not be allowed into stadiums.
Parry said: “With Sky Bet Championship Clubs set to return to full-contact training later this week and following Saturday’s government announcement (that sporting events can resume behind closed doors), 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.”
This will come as great news to Arsenal youngster Emile Smith-Rowe, who had been enjoying a run of first-team appearances on loan with Huddersfield of late.
The 19 year-old is rated highly at the Emirates, and a decent run of form in the Championship may well open the door for Mikel Arteta to promote him to the first-team next season.
Mesut Ozil is of course our current first choice in behind the striker, but there is hope that one of Smith-Rowe or Joe Willock could take over from the German in the coming years.
Could Smith-Rowe be the next youngster to break into the first-team?