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EFL eye two potential start dates for 2020/21 season

EFL eye two potential start dates for the much anticipated 2020/21 season following an important meeting which took place recently.

During these unusual times, fans are looking forward to the forthcoming campaign with current one still ongoing in the top three divisions of English football.

Majority of clubs in both the Premier League and Championship have a total of five games remaining, with playoffs still needed to be played out in the second tier and third tier.

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Swindon Town, Crewe Alexandra, Plymouth Argyle and Northampton Town have won promotion from League Two whilst Coventry City and Rotherham United also going up from League One. Wycombe Wanderers, Oxford United, Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town continue playing in the playoffs Monday night.

Bolton Wanderers, Southend United and Tranmere Rovers, who have been relegated, will be playing National League champions Barrow next season, and it is still unknown who out of Macclesfield Town and Stevenage will be definitely getting relegated from League Two as the EFL put forward an appeal to contest the Silkmen’s two point deduction, expecting more to be given, which would subsequently send the Cheshire side down.

So as fans of those who have gone up or down look towards the new campaign, the plans, if safety guidelines allow, is to allow supporters into grounds at a reduced capacity so social distancing protocols can be adhered to.

The two dates being discussed for the first game of the season are August 29 and September 12. A formal vote is expected to take place soon.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell revealed: “The EFL stated that they have been in discussion with the government for several weeks now regarding fans returning safely to grounds with social distancing measure still in place.

“The EFL are working closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority on a study to look at crowd flows and social distancing to help ensure some form of fans can return to games safely on a potential reduced attendance.

“I think the main thing for fans to take away from this is that everything is being done to try and ensure fans can return to matches as soon as possible providing it’s safe of course.

“It was mentioned that they are working closely with government and the relevant authorities with the goal of hopefully having the possibility of fans even on reduced attendances returning for the start of next season all being well.

“At the moment, we’re working around the international break on September 5, would leave us with two potential start dates, either August 29 or September 12.

“If we were to vote on the 29th that would mean nine midweek matches instead of the normal five, with no runs of three league midweek games in a row.

“If we were to vote on the 12th this would firstly mean a broken start to the new campaign as some clubs may have players away on international duty for up to 10 days.

“On top of that, midweek matches would become 11 instead of five therefore meaning that there could be three midweek games back-to-back. Part of the issue is the loss of furlough from an earlier return on August 29.

“Either option will cause a backload which is why it’s important to try and get crowds in if we can.”

Fans reacted after reading reports that the EFL eye two potential start dates for 2020/21 season…

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