Why Sunderland's return to competitive action could come with a twist in the 2020/21 season

Sunderland’s return to competitive action could come with a twist – with EFL clubs thought to be considering starting the season with a Carabao Cup game.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 12:30 pm

No firm start date has been set for the League One season as of yet, leaving clubs in a state of limbo as they look to plan ahead.

But according to our sister title, the Peterborough Telegraph. League One clubs will vote next week on which of two potential start dates they wish to aim for.

The two start dates put to clubs are August 29 (with a May 8) finish or September 12 (with a May 22 finish), and there will be an EFL meeting held next Monday to discuss the merits of both start dates. A formal vote will then be held later next week.

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Sunderland could start the season with a Carabao Cup game next season

Clubs are widely expected to vote for the September 12 start date for a variety of reasons – not least the fact it will enable them to utilise the government’s job retention scheme for a slightly extended period.

But while League One may begin on September 12, clubs have been told to prepare for the fact that the season may actually begin a week earlier – with the Carabao Cup first round set to take place on the weekend prior to whichever start date clubs vote for.

That could mean that Sunderland will be without some key men for their first round outing, with September 5/6 an international weekend.