Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet has said the Championship intends to play out the rest of the season in the order games were originally structured in the fixture list.
The last game in the Championship which took place was on Sunday, March 8, when Derby County beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 at Pride Park. Stoke City had beaten Hull 5-1 the day previously to climb to 17th, their highest position of the season to date.
Since then, there have been no matches due to the postponement of football in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Charlton Athletic have dropped a hint that the Championship will recommence on June 20 – three days after the Premier League’s now-confirmed comeback date.
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And Sweet, who has appointed Nathan Jones as manager this morning in a bid to climb out of the relegation zone, has given an indication about how the games will be organised.
All teams in the Championship have nine games left to play and players have returned to training, with strict social distancing and safety measures introduced.
Two asymptomatic players and staff tested positive in the first round of tests last week and three more, from two different clubs, have tested positive this week.
Sweet said: “We’ve had a good full week of training back at Brache, as the first phase return to training protocol has been successful. The lads have been excellent, have been professional, enthusiastic about the return.
“We have had no positive cases on the two tests we’ve done so far. Indeed the league generally, apart from a couple, haven’t had any positive tests, which is fantastic news.
“Not for that reason but as was planned, the Championship is going to play the rest of the season in the order that it was structured in terms of fixtures.
“We as a club have to get going. We’ve got to hit the ground sprinting. If the season didn’t play out for some reason, for example, as of now, we would be relegated and relegation isn’t something that we want to face, I’ll be honest.
“We do not want to face relegation, I can confirm to you, not just financially but from a status perspective and just from a progress perspective, League One is not where we want to be.
“It would put us into a certain state of financial oblivion effectively with the Championship debt being taken down to League One with League One financial reward is not something we are willing to accept and it’s something we have to avoid at all costs.”
The Premier League has started contact training in small groups today and the Championship could follow next week.
Stoke City and other clubs are expected to arrange warm-up matches before the season re-starts.
Charlton director of football Steve Gallen has told The Athletic, that Lee Bowyer’s team have already lined up two “pre-season” friendlies to play early next month, including one against a Premier League team.
“Originally, when we spoke to the EFL last week and they gave us directions, they pretty much said, ‘You’ve got three weeks from Monday (May 25) until you play games’,” Gallen said.
“Now that looks like it’s been pushed back another week. It looks like it’s going to be four weeks of training.
“You would normally do five or six weeks in pre-season. Three weeks did seem a little bit too tight, especially with the first week being non-contact.”
“But it looks like it’s going to be four weeks now and I think everyone agrees we can manage alright on four weeks.
“First week: non-contact. Second week: we’ll go back to contact. Third week: you’ll do more tactical stuff. And the fourth week: preparing for matches as well as physical training, like you’d normally do during the season.”
Before adding: “That’s what people are talking about.
“No date has been given to us yet but I believe the Premier League are discussing that this week and having a vote on that. We’re planning for June 20.”
Here’s a full list of the Championship fixtures.
Blackburn Rovers v Bristol City
Cardiff City v Leeds United
Fulham v Brentford
Huddersfield Town v Wigan Athletic
Hull City v Charlton Athletic
Luton Town v Preston North End
Middlesbrough v Swansea City
Millwall v Derby County
Queens Park Rangers v Barnsley
Reading v Stoke City
Sheffield Wednesday v Nottingham Forest
West Bromwich Albion v Birmingham City
Barnsley v Millwall
Brentford v West Bromwich Albion
Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday
Charlton Athletic v Queens Park Rangers
Derby County v Reading
Preston North End v Cardiff City
Birmingham City v Hull City
Leeds United v Fulham
Nottingham Forest v Huddersfield Town
Stoke City v Middlesbrough
Swansea City v Luton Town
Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers
Barnsley v Blackburn Rovers
Birmingham City v Huddersfield Town
Cardiff City v Charlton Athletic
Hull City v Middlesbrough
Leeds United v Luton Town
Millwall v Swansea City
Nottingham Forest v Bristol City
Preston North End v Derby County
Queens Park Rangers v Fulham
Reading v Brentford
Sheffield Wednesday v West Bromwich Albion
Wigan Athletic v Stoke City
Blackburn Rovers v Leeds United
Brentford v Wigan Athletic
Bristol City v Cardiff City
Charlton Athletic v Millwall
Derby County v Nottingham Forest
Fulham v Birmingham City
Huddersfield Town v Preston North End
Luton Town v Reading
Middlesbrough v Queens Park Rangers
Stoke City v Barnsley
Swansea City v Sheffield Wednesday
West Bromwich Albion v Hull City
Birmingham City v Swansea City
Brentford v Charlton Athletic
Bristol City v Hull City
Cardiff City v Blackburn Rovers
Leeds United v Stoke City
Luton Town v Barnsley
Millwall v Middlesbrough
Nottingham Forest v Fulham
Reading v Huddersfield Town
Sheffield Wednesday v Preston North End
West Bromwich Albion v Derby County
Wigan Athletic v Queens Park Rangers
Barnsley v Wigan Athletic
Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion
Charlton Athletic v Reading
Derby County v Brentford
Fulham v Cardiff City
Huddersfield Town v Luton Town
Hull City v Millwall
Middlesbrough v Bristol City
Preston North End v Nottingham Forest
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday
Stoke City v Birmingham City
Swansea City v Leeds United
Birmingham City v Charlton Athletic
Brentford v Preston North End
Bristol City v Stoke City
Cardiff City v Derby County
Leeds United v Barnsley
Luton Town v Queens Park Rangers
Millwall v Blackburn Rovers
Nottingham Forest v Swansea City
Reading v Middlesbrough
Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield Town
West Bromwich Albion v Fulham
Wigan Athletic v Hull City
Barnsley v Nottingham Forest
Blackburn Rovers v Reading
Charlton Athletic v Wigan Athletic
Derby County v Leeds United
Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday
Huddersfield Town v West Bromwich Albion
Hull City v Luton Town
Middlesbrough v Cardiff City
Preston North End v Birmingham City
Queens Park Rangers v Millwall
Stoke City v Brentford
Swansea City v Bristol City
Birmingham City v Derby County
Brentford v Barnsley
Bristol City v Preston North End
Cardiff City v Hull City
Leeds United v Charlton Athletic
Luton Town v Blackburn Rovers
Millwall v Huddersfield Town
Nottingham Forest v Stoke City
Reading v Swansea City
Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough
West Bromwich Albion v Queens Park Rangers
Wigan Athletic v Fulham