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Fans Could Return to Stadiums in October as the EFL Consider Various Options

As coronavirus continues to play havoc with life as we know it, it has emerged that Walsall supporters may not be allowed back into Banks's Stadium until early October under EFL proposals leaked to the media.
The EFL are understood to have set a date of Thursday, 1st October as the earliest opportunity when supporters could return to stadiums and see their heroes in action, with all fixtures - whether the 2019/20 season gets back underway or not - being played behind closed doors.

According to the Yorkshire Post, who broke the story on Friday evening, the October threshold is viewed as optimistic by many parties especially when you take the government’s warning that social distancing measures are set to be in place in some form until the end of the year into account.

In a letter sent to clubs earlier this month, the EFL admitted that they were working under the assumption that all games played in the 2019/20 season were to be played behind closed doors, but during video calls with clubs in League's One and Two it was conceded that supporters are unlikely to be in place once the 2020/21 campaign kicks-off either.

With many clubs in the lower reaches of the system already warning of financial difficulties, and, despite recently asking clubs to to submit financial forecasts, the EFL are yet to provide and clarity as to how lost match day income will be replaced it remains to be seen of the teams will be able to come together and agree terms on a return to action.

As we reported on Friday morning, many clubs in League One and League Two are in favour of a wage cap being introduced next season and as such may welcome the current campaign being drawn to an early conclusion as finances continue to tighten.

The EFL are reportedly planning for the 2020/21 campaign to begin in September, but this will only be possible if the outstanding fixtures from 2019/20 can begin in June and be concluded over an eight-week period as is currently planned.

The current tentative plans mean clubs will not able to return to training until Saturday, 16th May at the earliest, with plans in place to conclude the campaign over an eight-week period before players enjoy a shortened off season ahead of 2020/19.

With fans unlikely to be seeing their teams in person for quite some time plans are being formulated for official broadcasters - including iFollow and Sky Sports in the UK - to be able to stream games and allow fans to watch their teams from afar.

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