The Championship’s clubs are unanimous in the view that a means to finish the season must be found as sport reels from the impact of coronavirus.
Representatives from each of the division’s 24 clubs met via conference call on Tuesday to discuss the next steps following the suspension of the competition until 3 April. That date – as with everything at present – is subject to change given the inherent uncertainty of the pandemic.
There have been various suggestions as to what should happen to the Championship, with cancellation being one of them, but the clubs have got together and agreed that completing the season has to be the priority. It should be noted that blanket agreement on any issue with them is rare but the standpoint has been communicated to the English Football League board, which meets on Wednesday. The board will in turn lobby the Premier League, which meets on Thursday, and Uefa.
The postponement of Euro 2020, ratified earlier on Tuesday – the tournament has been set back to summer 2021 – has extended the window for domestic leagues, including the Championship, to finish. The Euros had been scheduled to run from 12 June to 12 July. But with the virus not expected to peak in England for a number of weeks, maybe months, it remains unclear whether the extra time will be sufficient.
The option of playing matches behind closed doors in an attempt to get them completed has been discussed but this would have a severe impact on the finances of Championship clubs, who rely on gate money to balance the books. If the season is not finished there is a fear legal challenges could be mounted, particularly by clubs who might be denied a financially transformative promotion to the Premier League.