Next season start date edging closer for Stoke City and EFL rivals

The EFL are set to meet with their board this week to discuss the start date of the 2020/21 season, writes Tom Leach.

Championship clubs are so far yet to learn when both their summer and the summer transfer window will end as the excitement grows ahead of the new season.

But the answers could be on their way as early as Wednesday as the EFL is set to hold their weekly board meeting – and with the start of next season understood to be high on the agenda.

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Reports have suggested that the start of the season could come during September with the transfer window stretching into October, but those dates are no more than speculation at this stage.

It is also expected that the Championship season will start as it has finished this term, behind closed doors, though Stoke chairman Peter Coates is among those supporting a restricted return for fans in reduced-capacity statiums to ensure safe social distancing.

Some clubs have budgeted cautiously ahead of next term as they prepare for a scenario in which no fans will be present until the half-way point.

Stoke still have seven fixtures to play – starting at Wigan tomorrow and with the likes of leaders Leeds still lurking – before they know if they will be kicking off next season in the Championship or League One.

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