Revealed: This is why Sunderland are still waiting to find out when the 2020/21 season will begin
Sunderland are still waiting to discover when the 2020/21 season will begin – because the Premier League have delayed their talks over the new campaign.
The Black Cats have not kicked a ball in anger since March 10, with the League One season having been curtailed after an initial suspension.
Under normal circumstances, Phil Parkinson would be preparing his side for the start of a new campaign – but as things stand, the club are still unaware as to when the 2020/21 season will kick-off.
There were hopes that an announcement would be made this week after clubs were issued with a survey last week asking them to state their preferred restart date. Two options were presented to clubs – August 29 and September 12 – and it’s understood that it is the latter date which has the most backing from clubs.
But any hopes of an EFL announcement being made this week were scuppered when the Premier League decided to postpone their own announcement over a restart date for the new campaign. The top flight will seek further consultation with clubs before deciding on a restart date and subsequent fixture pattern.
The knock-on effect on the EFL comes via the Carabao Cup – as all fixture dates for the competition must be decided between the EFL and Premier League. With no agreement from the Premier League on when these cup games can be played as of yet, the EFL are reluctant to announce a start date for the new campaign.
Explaining the process, Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell said: "My understanding was that the vast majority of clubs' preference was September 12, however they had hoped to get that ratified and announced this week.
"But because the Premier League have delayed their start date announcement, that has then delayed the EFL being able to make a decision and put something out ourselves.
"That's purely caused by the Carabao Cup, because the fixture list in the EFL relies on the Carabao Cup dates being worked in conjunction with the Premier League at the same time.”