Football fans, bookmakers and punters are awaiting news on when or if the 2019-20 season will be completed, and there was some development on that front over the weekend.
Rick Parry, the Chairman of the English Football League (EFL) has written an open letter that outlines the league’s plan to continue with the Championship, League 1 and League 2 seasons on a behind closed doors basis. The plan envisages all games being aired online or through TV.
The plans will still depend on the UK government issuing its approval. For this reason, the EFL has not yet put a date on the possible resumption as the UK continues to cope with lockdown.
In the letter, Parry acknowledged the desire among fans for answers, and emphasised that although the situation presented challenges, the EFL has been working hard to find a solution:
“Whilst we are unfortunately without the presence of the hundreds of thousands of supporters who pass through EFL turnstiles each week, we will endeavour to bring live football direct into your homes once it returns.”
The plans envisage games being broadcast either through their existing broadcast partners or through relevant club streaming platforms. This plan won’t provide much reassurance for clubs that depend on gate money for their financial viability. Parry acknowledged that this was a problem and that it was a challenge for the EFL, though he emphasised that they are working to bring back football in front of crowds in the shortest time possible.
All fixtures in the Football League were suspended in the middle of March, with most clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two having between 9 and 11 games left to play, as well as the promotion play-offs. The Football Association will also be faced with tough decisions over the resumption of matches in the Premier League and the FA Cup.