April 17 – Clubs from England’s Football League (EFL), the three divisions below the Premier League, have been told that all matches will probably be played behind closed doors when fixtures resume – but, crucially, that they should be broadcast live.
EFL chairman Rick Parry (pictured) has issued an open letter to all supporters of clubs within the Championship, League One and League Two saying the priority is to finish the 2019/20 season “with or without fans” and that there are plans to end the traditional Saturday 3pm television blackout by broadcasting all remaining games.
“Your contribution to the matchday experience and atmospheres created in stadia up and down the country is something we should never take for granted,” Parry said.
“Unfortunately, I cannot tell you today when football will resume, though whenever we do return, matches are likely to be played without crowds.”
“And whilst we are unfortunately without the presence of the hundreds of thousands of supporters who pass through EFL turnstiles each week, we will endeavour to bring live football direct into your homes once it returns.”
The EFL had previously told clubs not to expect to be allowed to train again until May 16, at the earliest.
“To give you an honest assessment of the current situation; the point at which you will be able to attend games again remains unclear,” wrote Parry.
In a Sky interview, the EFL chairman added: “Clearly, the virus is going to decide when we start playing again. No one knows exactly when that is going to be. Clearly, at the moment, there is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unrest, particularly at our level where clubs are struggling financially.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com