Championship confirm plans to restart on June 20
The news came late on Sunday night: the Championship clubs have agreed to restart their season on June 20.
In a statement released by the EFL, fans have been told:
The EFL has this weekend agreed to a provisional restart date of the weekend of 20 June 2020 for matches in the Sky Bet Championship.
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.
— EFL Communications (@EFL_Comms) May 31, 2020
Championship table – 2019/2020
|2||West Bromwich Albion||37||19||13||5||64||37||27||70|
|6||Preston North End||37||16||8||13||50||45||5||56|
|13||Queens Park Rangers||37||14||8||15||58||62||-4||50|
Last updated: 1 min ago
Leeds & West Brom could be forced to play at neutral venues
When the Championship season was stopped back in March, Leeds United lead the standings ahead of West Brom.
Leeds have 71 points from 37 games, while West Brom have 70 points.
In recent days, Times reporter Martyn Ziegler has indicated that Leeds and West Brom could be instructed to play some of their remaining fixtures this season at neutral grounds.
Writing in the paper, Martyn Ziegler announced:
Matches in the Championship deemed “high risk” may be moved to neutral venues, including those involving promotion contenders Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion.
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) May 28, 2020
Leeds & West Brom: What we don’t know
To be clear, there has not been any definite ruling on whether clubs like Leeds and West Brom will be forced to play some of their home matches away from either Elland Road or The Hawthorns.
There has also been no clarity on which games could be moved, while it’s also unclear which stadia could stage these matches.
That said, one could assume that neutral venues may be used for any match which could confirm Leeds or West Brom’s promotion to the Premier League.
All Championship matches to be shown live
There are 108 fixtures remaining in the 2019-20 Championship season. In addition, there are also the Championship playoff matches to add to the mix.
In a piece of good news for all armchair football fans, the Guardian have confirmed that all these matches are scheduled to be broadcast for live consumption.
However, unlike plans to air some Premier League matches for free on the BBC, Championship fans will probably have to pay to watch their clubs in action. The Guardian note:
(EFL chief executive Rick) Parry said matches would be shown on Sky Sports, iFollow or clubs’ own streaming services, with no mention of free-to-air games.
Championship season set to resume on 20 June with play-off final at end of July https://t.co/EE9x1JISic
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) May 31, 2020
Positive Covid-19 cases in the Championship
On Sunday, it was confirmed that 10 people have turned up positive coronavirus test results after the latest round of testing in the Championship.
Those 10 positive results were sourced from eight Championship clubs, while 1,058 people were tested in total.
It’s been confirmed that Preston North End striker Jayden Stockley was one of the positive Covid-19 cases.
Also, Fulham, Middlesbrough and Cardiff have also confirmed positive cases.