Championship clubs decide restart date – and it could be before Premier League

Championship clubs have earmarked a return to action on June 20 – meaning the second-tier could be back before the Premier League.

Top-flight teams returned to training this week, and with Premier League managers wanting a full month to prepare for the resumption of matches, that could mean the Championship pips Project Restart by a matter days.

Championship clubs have agreed to rush through the rest of the season in a bid to get it done and dusted before players' contracts expire on July 31.

That date could cause mayhem if it passes with the season still ongoing, so clubs have agreed to blast through the remaining nine rounds of the programme in five Saturdays and four mid-week slots.

That would see the Championship season finish on July 18 – leaving just enough time to complete the promotion play-offs before the end of that month.

Leeds United currently top the Championship by a point from West Brom, who occupy the other automatic promotion spot.

Fulham, Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston are in the four play-off spots, while Charlton, Luton and Barnsley are in the relegation zone ahead of the return to action.

Hull City are believed to be the only team opposed to returning to action the campaign, and the EFL board are focusing simply on getting teams back training.

The first round of blanket testing for Covid-19 will be completed in time for a return to training on Monday, with players having signed a 47-page dossier of protocols surrounding social distancing.

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