Sunderland set for another fortnight of uncertainty as EFL push back meeting on 2020/21 start date

Sunderland will be forced to wait even longer to discover when the 2020/21 season will begin – after an EFL vote was postponed.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 4:45 pm

The Black Cats and their League One rivals were hopeful that a restart date would be established this week, with clubs eager for clarity as they look to put recruitment and pre-season plans in place.

But while meetings were initially scheduled for this week, Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry has now confirmed that these have been postponed until July 24.

Two provisional start dates – August 29 and September 12 – have been put to clubs, while there are also plans in place to begin the season with a Carabao Cup tie.

Sunderland will be forced to wait for a League One restart date

But Fry has confirmed it will be another two weeks until there is clarity on which start date has been selected.

He told the Peterborough Telegraph: “It’s incredibly frustrating, but we’ve now been told we won’t hear anything about a start date until July 24. The Premier League and the FA are still talking with the EFL about cups and all sorts.

“It’s driving our manager Darren Ferguson up the wall as he can’t plan properly for next season. It can’t start any later than September 12 or we’ll never get the fixtures in. If we start on September 12 it will be six months between competitive matches for us.”

Meanwhile, one of Sunderland’s main promotion rivals could be set to see a key man depart.

Portsmouth look set to challenge towards the top end of the League One table when the 2020/21 season eventually gets underway, but could have to mount a promotion charge without star man Ronan Curtis.

The News claim that Curtis is one of the names being eyed by Brentford as a contingency plan if star man Said Benrahma departs this summer.

There is an expectation that the Bees will be able to retain Benrahma if they can gain promotion to the Premier League – but alternatives are being eyed in case the exciting attacker is lured away this summer.