Reports have emerged, stating that the EFL are set to move games from the playoffs to allow hosting the UCL final at Wembley.
The Times claim that the clash between Manchester City and Chelsea on Saturday the 29th of May is set to be moved from Istanbul after concerns over the fact that Turkey was placed on England’s ‘red’ travel list.
This means those travelling back into the country from Turkey would be required to quarantine for ten days in a government-approved facility upon their return.
Reports have suggested that players and staff would have been given an exemption, though it is now being claimed that the final is set to be held at Wembley.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, government minister Michael Gove admitted that ‘delicate negotiations’ were ongoing over moving the final.
“My friend, my colleague, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden, is talking to people about this at the moment, and so I don’t want to cut across that,” he said.
“But I’m sure that fans in the UK would dearly love to see the final played here in the UK.”
This decision would in turn have a knock-on effect for all three EFL playoff finals, which are set to take place from the 29th of May to the 31st of May.
The English Football League are now reportedly considering all options in regards to the trio of games – including arranging alternative venues or rearranging the fixtures to ensure that they can still be played at Wembley.
But this could prove a tricky proposition, given that the national stadium will begin hosting Euro 2020 games on June the 13th.
There has so far been no approach from UEFA and the governing body is going ahead with preparations for the Champions League final to be played at the Ataturk Stadium as planned.
Turkey is currently in lockdown following a surge in Covid cases.
Speaking on Friday, transport secretary Grant Shapps said the government was ‘very open to hosting the final’ and that the FA was in discussions with UEFA.
He also told fans not to travel to Istanbul.
The FA declined to comment on the situation when approached on Saturday morning, while UEFA’s stance had not changed.
‘I’m afraid we are having to put Turkey on the red list. This will have a number of ramifications. First of all, it does mean with the regards to the Champions League, fans should not travel to Turkey,’ Shapps said.
‘The FA are in discussions with UEFA on this. We are very open to hosting the final but it is ultimately a decision for UEFA.
‘Red countries are those which should not be visited except in the most extreme of circumstances.’
As it stands, only 10,000 fans can attend the play-off finals so moving them to a smaller stadium would be less problematic than usual.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce that the country will move in Step 3 on the lockdown phase on Monday.
Here is all the games and their dates as it stands (before any changes made)
CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF TIES
Monday 17th May 2021 – AFC Bournemouth v Brentford – Championship Playoff Semi-Final 1st Leg – 18:00 – Sky Sports Football
Monday 17th May 2021 – Barnsley v Swansea City – Championship Playoff Semi Final 1st Leg – 20:15 – Sky Sports Football
Saturday 22nd May 2021 – Brentford v AFC Bournemouth – Championship Playoff Semi Final 2nd Leg – 12:30 – Sky Sports Football
Saturday 22nd May 2021 – Swansea City v Barnsley – Championship Playoff Semi Final 2nd Leg – 17:30 – Sky Sports Football
Saturday 29th May 2021 – Championship Playoff Final – 15:00 – Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD
LEAGUE ONE PLAYOFF TIES
Tuesday 18th May 2021- Oxford United v Blackpool – League One Playoff Semi-Final – 1st Leg- 18:00- Sky Sports Football
Wednesday 19th May 2021- Lincoln City v Sunderland – League One Playoff Semi-Final – 1st Leg – 18:00 – Sky Sports Football
Friday 21st May 2021 – Blackpool v Oxford United – League One Playoff Semi-Final – 2nd Leg – 19:45 – Sky Sports Football
Saturday 22nd May 2021 – Sunderland v Lincoln City – League One Playoff Semi-Final – 2nd Leg – 15:00 – Sky Sports Football
Sunday 30th May 2021 – TBC – League One Play-Off Final – 15:00 – Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD
LEAGUE TWO PLAYOFF TIES
Tuesday 18th May 2021 – Newport County v Forest Green Rovers – League Two Playoff Semi-Final 1st Leg – 20:15 – Sky Sports Football
Thursday 20th May 2021 – Tranmere Rovers v Morecambe – League Two Playoff Semi-Final 1st Leg – 18:00 – Sky Sports Football
Sunday 23rd May 2021 – Morecambe v Tranmere Rovers – League Two Playoff Semi-Final 2nd Leg – 12:30 – Sky Sports Football
Sunday 23rd May 2021 – Forest Green Rovers v Newport County – League Two Playoff Semi-Final 2nd Leg – 18:30 – Sky Sports Football
Monday 31st May 2021 – League Two Playoff Final – 15:00 – Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD
Fans reacted with the EFL set to move their playoffs to allow hosting the UCL final at Wembley…
@LudaChrisWade: Why can’t they do the champions league at Liverpool, old Trafford, st James park, villa park, stadium of light, Olympic stadium instead
@brettd1981: Harsh on some players in the EFL that may never get another chance to play at Wembley.
@CoulsonZach: If EFL clubs are okay with it, move to either Old Trafford or Villa Park. Classic grounds: or if you want to keep it in London the Spurs stadium
@KDB_Mcfc17: Different venue would be better than it being in midweek
@Benjmeister85: The irony of the football authorities and the government doing this after the Super League fallout is incredible…
@OldPoshShirts: It’s happened the last two times we’ve made the playy off finals. We were moved to Old Trafford in 2011 due to the Champions League Final, and the 2000 final was moved to a Friday night for a fucking England friendly.
@jay_113: Why not send them to the Spurs ground just as impressive as Wembley
@jonesyefc: Don’t move the date please just move to a different venue
@KiranSavage: Same teams that tried to break away just a few weeks ago. Now the @FA are turning their backs on the teams who make the plays offs for them. Money talks and they’re just the same as the so called “Big 6”. @EFL should be ashamed for being okay with it! 💷💷💷💷 @TSBreakfast
@dazza_nics: Ahhhh yes.. moving the play off finals to accommodate 2 of the 6 clubs that tried to destroy English football! Normal order is resumed ladies and gentlemen.
@whufcliv: moving proper English football to accommodate 2 teams who were more than happy to leave English football behind…
@TheRealGarrigle: So they are moving the EFL play offs for 2 teams who wanted to leave and play in the super league, what a joke
@heyit5sam: 3 weeks ago these two clubs didn’t want to be in the champions league and now they expect the EFL to move their dates which have been scheduled for a year?! Chelsea & Man City can fuck right off. Play your game somewhere else
@robertthurstan2: What a fucking joke
@ryanw147: The league clubs getting pushed aside so two teams from the self-appointed ‘big six’ can battle it out in a competition they didn’t even want to be a part of anymore. A joke, as usual.
@georgew212: Joke, hate the “big 6”
@KieranPick5: So you’re telling me a competition where the two finalists wanted to abandon the champions league for the ESL are being prioritised over clubs and players who dream off playing at Wembley. Disgraceful if the EFL play offs are played elsewhere. In my opinion anyway
@miljm_: the efl doesn’t half get shit all over 🤣
@tom_price_avfc: If they move venue then it’s a disgrace. Disrespectful to the efl clubs. Just change the dates instead if it bothers uefa that much ffs
@laurenyanooo: No move the CL final to a different day and allow the play-off finals to be played at Wembley on their scheduled days
@J_J_Burke: Three weeks after the ESL uproar, two teams who were part of the scandal get away with a tiny fine, and end up kicking two hard working clubs out of Wembley (which they earned this season) all so they can enjoy the CL final they were desperate to try and leave. Nice one.
@neddthomas: Fair enough if they move the date, but it would be disgraceful if Championship, League One and League Two finals moved to another stadium. It does make sense for the Champions League Final to be played in UK but I can’t understand why Old Trafford, Millennium etc weren’t viable
@_jord19x: wtf that’s out of order if they’re moved to a diff venue
@piscesdrama_: Should be a different date, so wrong for it to be on a different venue. Plenty of fans wanted to see their teams play at Wembley so it’s just wrong
@josh_bfc: The only other venue I’d want it moved to is the Millennium. Anywhere else or a date change and it’s a massive slap in the face to the EFL fans. After all the Super League shit and everybody condemning the elitism and then this happens. Smh
Reaction continued with the EFL set to move the playoffs to allow hosting the UCL final at Wembley…
@iainankcorn: Sorry did you just say the EFL competition should bend over to let the big club competition take precedence at a stadium they have booked already?What would be the rational?Especially due to the shitshow footballs in with the two teams in competition being the cause of said shit!
@_BFCLuke: Move the CL final date instead 👍
@RobMcGowan4: Those snakes shouldn’t get priority over the playoffs. Make them play in Northwick Park
@chrishorricks31: Teams in the @EFL will have played 48 games to get to their respective finals, champions league far fewer, DO NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN
@perrycoldrick: Move the playoffs to the Millennium Stadium…better ground anyway
@OxfordSeasider: We don’t care about the UCL. Play it in the Faroe Islands.
@MattC_CAFC: Or just rearrange the UCL final to a different day?
@rmbfc1: No. If you’re that desperate move the UCL final.
@StoreTw8: what a joke if this happens. Two teams who wanted to throw English football under the bus for extra money. Nothing should change to accommodate them.
@AndyReynolds40: Just imagine how many fans without tickets would be around if the final was played in this country with only 4,000 tickets per team permitted. Absolute carnage.
@jb_31no: Ah here we go. Fuck the smaller clubs around so two of the so called ESL clubs can have their CL final.
@fatwhit5: @FA bending over for #UEFA again , fuck off and play the game in one of your super league stadiums.
@w__1889: why can’t they just play the ucl final at cardiff? 3 hours from london 3 hours from manchester and they’ve held it there before would make more sense
@caldwellrowan29: The set piece events of the EFL have to happen at Wembley. The CL final can be moved around. Play it at the Millennium or Hampden or Villa Park. Also would be unfair if Swansea got to the final and it was at the Millennium especially without travel between the devolved nations.
@MathewLockyer: Makes total sense, you know the play off dates have been know to fans for months, and a few fans would of booked the day off in the slight hope fans could be allowed in. But shift the games that are part of the pyramid for the big money European game. Uproar 2 weeks back
@josh_bfc: The only other venue I’d want it moved to is the Millenium. Anywhere else or a date change and it’s a massive slap in the face to the EFL fans. After all the Super League shit and everybody condemning the elitism and then this happens. Smh
@StevenDay_: Hope they get pushed back to allow fans to be let in
@freelander97: Fuck off move their final
@OfficialBigDave: Should hold it at Villa Park and leave the play off finals alone
@BrandonIsChels: Don’t know if I agree with the EFL playoff games being moved to different stadiums to accommodate the CL final, these occasions are special for lower league teams and some players may never get to play at Wembley again. Have the CL final at another elite English stadium
@dannyjmarley: Seen a lot of talk about moving the champions league final to Wembley. Wembley’s booked that weekend for the EFL playoffs, always has been and always May bank holiday weekend. Why should these teams be denied their day at Wembley? Arrogant premier league thinking again
@tattooeddad83: Sky Sports just said EFL are open to moving Playoff final dates if Wembley needs to accommodate the Champions League final. Just move the Playoffs to Spurs Stadium or the Emirates job done, no need to move dates.
@WELLS35: That absolutely should not happen! Yes play CL final in England but it can’t be at Wembley – the teams fighting for promotion deserve their day at Wembley with their fans! Plenty of other stadiums that can host it!
@RobertHughes80: Why not use one of the other stadiums in this country? Plenty of them. Not right to take the chance to play at Wembley from those EFL players.