Proposal for League One start in October with EFL Trophy and Carabao Cup rescheduled
- Credit: Archant
Shrewsbury Town have made a proposal to the EFL which would see the start of the League One season delayed until October and cup competitions rescheduled.
The governing body and its clubs are understood to be working towards a September 12 start date for the 2020/21 season but, according to the Shropshire Star, Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell has suggested pushing the beginning of the campaign into October.
That would see the start of the season link up with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to allow crowds to return to matches during October, allowing clubs at give at least some season ticket holders the opportunity to attend matches.
To fill the September void, Caldwell has suggested moving the early rounds of the Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy forward, allowing them to be used as test events for the draft guidelines that have been issued to clubs by the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) in relation to social distancing.
The EFL Trophy was scheduled to begin in October, with any decision to bring those games forward freeing up midweek slots later in the campaign. Shrewsbury have also suggested scheduling two rounds of matches either side of the May 3 bank holiday weekend next year in order to maximise attendances.
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While the September 12 start appears likely, it has been reported some clubs in Leagues One and Two could refuse to play due to the ongoing cost of coronavirus testing. However, it’s understood regulations regarding phase one of the return-to-training protocol could potentially be changed in the coming days, meaning such a high testing threshold is not required while players are only training in small groups and are socially distanced.
Ipswich are currently working through the 84-page SGSA document as they prepare Portman Road for the return of fans.
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Reduced capacities of 25% or 30% have been suggested but it’s understood all stadiums will be judged on their own merit, meaning it remains unclear how many supporters will be allowed inside Portman Road once fans are permitted to return.