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This is when the EFL fixtures could be released

In this article we take a look at when the EFL fixtures could be released now that the 2019/20 season has finally come to an end.

After 369 days, the longest domestic season in English football history finished last Tuesday afternoon with Fulham winning the Championship Playoff Final against Brentford at Wembley.

The English Football League has already confirmed the date of when it’s three tiers are set to kick off their regular season, but when is the fixture release day we all ask?

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The Championship, League One and League Two seasons are to commence on the weekend of September the 12th, with their regular seasons ending on the weekend of May the 8th 2021.

They also confirmed that the playoff finals are set to revert back to the Spring Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.

The Premier League has revealed the 2020/21 season will start on the 12th of September and run until May the 23rd of 2021, whilst the National League is expected to start the new season on the weekend of October the 3rd.

The new season, will be much shorter than usual with all the league and cup games crammed into a tight schedule to make sure the season finishes by May to get the calendar back on track for the future, plus with the Euros in mind.

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When announcing the start date for the 2020/21 season, the EFL said on fixtures: “Work is currently underway in respect of fixture scheduling and details will be announced in due course as to when full fixture lists for 2020/21 will be made available.”

There have been various reports claiming that fixtures for all four divisions in England will be released on the same day – the 21st of August 2020. That would be just over three weeks before the scheduled start of league games.

However, it is understood that this might not the definite date for fixtures to be released for the new season and that details behind the scenes are still being worked on.

The EFL also has less pressure on them this year to release fixtures as early as usual due to the fact all matches will be played behind closed doors at the start of the season.

Reports have also stated the probability that some Championship clubs will kick-start their 20/21 season slightly earlier than September, by playing their Carabao Cup First Round matches.

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The difficulty for Championship clubs in the League Cup is the first round falls during the upcoming international break, with England set to play Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark on September the 5th and 8th.

Many clubs in the second tier are likely to have players away on international duty over those dates, so clubs might be given the option of playing their first-round matches as early as August the 29th.

The EFL have yet to release details of when the first round draw for the EFL Cup will take place, though last season saw it take place the same day as when the fixtures were released.

Fans will be hoping that behind-closed-doors matches will continued to be streamed live again, so supporters can still watch their club as well as help them with some sort of income.

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Championship side Stoke confirmed in the latest meeting of their fans’ council: “The club is looking at streaming offers for the new season but is bound by the EFL and Sky’s input before any decisions can be made.

“The EFL in particular govern streaming pricing, though the club is already lobbying for some form of special offer for supporters as was offered in April.”

When will supporters be allowed back into football stadiums?

Test events with limited crowds had been planned at cricket, horse racing and snooker venues with the Premier League, EFL and non league obviously watching on with interest. However, similar tests in county cricket and snooker had to be abandoned due to a rise in cases.

There were reports that the FA Community Shield could potentially be the first game to host a restricted amount on spectators into the stand, however this plan has now been abandoned due to a rise in cases recently.

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Liverpool take on Arsenal at Wembley on August the 29th, which was put forward as the first football match for fans since lockdown in March, an idea to which the Government were initially receptive.

It was back on the 9th of March 2020 that Leicester City’s match against Aston Villa was the last domestic football fixture which saw thousands of supporters in the stands.

Meanwhile in Scotland, with the Scottish Premiership already underway, that season could already be forced to halt after just a few games in.

The Scottish Government and Scottish football authorities are meeting on Tuesday, after Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli breached Covid-19 protocol by taking a trip to Spain and then playing against Kilmarnock without isolating.

A Scottish government statement read: “The Scottish government is aware of reports of a Celtic FC player having broken quarantine rules last week.

“We are currently in discussion with the club and football governing bodies to establish the facts.

“If confirmed as another serious incident within Scottish football, where protocols have been breached at the risk of wider public health, then the Scottish government will have little choice but to consider whether a pause is now needed in the resumption of the game in Scotland.”

The Hoops’ matches against St Mirren and Aberdeen were called off, whilst Aberdeen’s meeting with Hamilton Academical on Wednesday is also postponed. That comes after Aberdeen’s game at St Johnstone last weekend was postponed following Scottish government intervention.

Aberdeen confirmed that two first team players, who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, are self-isolating for ten days.

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