Sunderland receive their firmest indication yet as to when the 2020/21 League One season will kick-off

Rochdale chief executive David Bottomely believes that a League One restart date will be announced in ‘a few hours’ – with a date of September 12 expected to be confirmed.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 9:58 am

League One clubs have been patiently waiting for news of a provisional resumption date after the third tier campaign was suspended in March and subsequently curtailed, and may soon have clairty.

A number of clubs – including Sunderland – are yet to return to pre-season training as they await news of a firm restart date. Clubs were given two dates to choose from, with September 12 understood to have been preferred to August 29.

And clarity on that choice of date is expected to come imminently, with Rochdale’s chief suggesting that an announcement could be made today.

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Sunderland have received their firmest indication yet as to when the new season will begin

It was previously suggested by Peterborough director Barry Fry that a meeting of all clubs would be held today to decide a restart date, but the Echo understands that there is no formal meeting between clubs scheduled.

However, there is a meeting of Premier League clubs taking place this morning where it is hoped a firm restart date for the top flight will be confirmed. The EFL will then likely follow suit, with league sources confirming they hope to announce a restart date as soon as possible.

And Bottomley suggests that the announcement could come as early as today – with plans in place for early fixtures to be played behind closed doors before supporters are admitted, albeit on a limited scale, from October 1.

In an article on Rochdale’s website, he said: "I can also make the comment that I believe within a few hours of you reading this, the EFL will have announced that our season will recommence on Saturday 12th September.

"Initially, it will be for three weeks behind closed doors and then from 1st October with crowds present.”