Championship & League 1 clubs might not return to action until March

The Championship and League 1 clubs are contemplating a return to league action in March – almost a year since clubs were last in league action.

A meeting of clubs took place on Wednesday where discussions regarding the season’s restart were held.

In theory, the season would restart week commencing March 1st.

Current projections suggest fans would be allowed in from April 1st and a delayed restart would limit the number of fixtures played without fans in stadiums.

Initially, the RFL had revealed plans to start as soon as Boxing Day with a reformatted version of the 1895 Cup.

But the latest setback on crowds being allowed back in grounds has forced the governing body to draw up a new plan, with the prospect of games being played in front of fans during the festive period now appearing unlikely.

Inevitably, the developments relating to Covid-19 will have a great bearing on the eventual start date. A relaxation of rules regarding supporters in stadiums would likely see the season pushed forward once again. But there remains a strong reluctance to return to the field without fans being in attendance. As such, starting the season later, rather than earlier, is currently more likely.

No games outside the top flight have been played since March 8th of this year.

The only challenge with a delayed start is completing a season before the World Cup, which is due to start on October 24th. Several Championship players were selected for various countries in the 2017 event.

Talks are set to continue in the coming weeks.