Championship set to restart on weekend of June 20

Play-off final set to be played on or around July 30; QPR 'appalled' by EFL's restart plan

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The Championship will restart on the weekend of June 20, subject to all safety and government guidelines being met

The EFL has announced that the Championship will restart on the weekend of June 20, subject to all safety requirements and government guidelines being met.

The EFL is then planning to complete the season with the play-off final on or around July 30, due to the importance of completing the season in a similar timeline to that of the Premier League to avoid any potential issues with promoted and relegated clubs.

lt has also been agreed that consideration will be given to changing the regulations to allow teams to use five substitutes in the remaining fixtures and field matchday squads of 20 players rather than 18.

The Premier League announced on Thursday play is due to return on June 17, following the coronavirus suspension that began in mid-March.

In a statement on Sunday night, the EFL said: "Following Saturday's announcement by the government to allow elite sporting events to return behind closed doors, 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 chairman Rick Parry said: "With Sky Bet Championship clubs set to return to full-contact training later this week and following Saturday's government announcement, we are edging closer towards resuming the 2019/20 EFL season.

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EFL chairman Rick Parry at West Brom vs Leeds United
Image: EFL chairman Rick Parry says Championship clubs will need "to play a significant number of matches over a relatively short period of time"

"We have therefore today consulted with the board's Championship directors and agreed to fixtures restarting behind closed doors on June 20.

"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.

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Preston adviser Peter Ridsdale is 'delighted' the Championship season will resume later this month but admits the sport needs to address the disparity of financing in the football pyramid.

"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."

Leeds and West Brom currently sit in the Championship's automatic promotion places, while Charlton, Luton and Barnsley are in the relegation places with nine matches apiece remaining.

Image: West Brom are currently on course for promotion to the Premier League

The EFL announced on Saturday 10 positive coronavirus tests had been returned in the Championship, including Preston's Jayden Stockley, an unnamed Fulham player, a member of staff at Cardiff and one unnamed individual at Middlesbrough.

Eight Championship clubs returned positive tests, from a total base of 1,058 tests.

QPR criticise EFL's restart plan

QPR have strongly criticised the EFL's plan to resume the Championship season on June 20, with chief executive Lee Hoos accusing the governing body of conducting "absolutely no consultation with individual clubs".

In a statement released on the club's website, he said: "I am absolutely stunned by this announcement, as is our director of football Les Ferdinand and our manager Mark Warburton.

QPR boss Mark Warburton has no new injury concerns ahead of Tuesday night's game
Image: QPR boss Mark Warburton is opposed to the Championship restarting on June 20, says the club's chief executive Lee Hoos

"Incredibly, there has been absolutely no consultation with individual clubs nor with the Championship doctors' working group by the divisional representatives - or anyone else in the Football League - regarding this matter.

"On top of that, we were only made aware of the statement 40 minutes before it was made public.

"The players haven't even returned to full-contact training at this moment and yet they are now expected to be in a position to play at a competitive level in just three weeks' time.

"I have made our feelings known to the EFL and, having spoken with a number of CEOs at other Championship clubs, I am not a lone voice on this matter.

"We are absolutely appalled."

Lyle Taylor and two other Charlton players 'won't play'

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer says some of his players are refusing to play upon the proposed resumption of the Championship on June 20.

The Addicks boss, whose side are two points adrift of safety in the Championship, confirmed they will be without long-serving defender Chris Solly and top scorer Lyle Taylor when the league resumes.

Talking on Talksport, Bowyer said: "We have nine players whose contracts finish at the end of June and, unfortunately for us, three of them have said that they're not going to play.

"Lyle's one of them and that's tough for us and for me as a manager. Lyle has said that he's not going to play because of risk of injury.

"Chris Solly has said the same. David Davis, who's at Birmingham, says he doesn't want to come back and play games."

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