EFL: Leagues One and Two play-offs to be before Championship play-offs

EFL corner flag
Football in England has been suspended since 13 March

The League One and League Two play-offs are likely to be held before the Championship play-offs in an effort to help clubs deal with difficult contractual situations.

The Football League confirmed on Friday that a meeting will be held on 8 June, when clubs will vote on whether to allow seasons to be curtailed if the majority in each league requests it.

League Two clubs have already decided that is the route they wish to go down but, so far, no consensus has been reached in League One.

The idea of halting that division has met with vehement opposition from some clubs, with both Tranmere and Peterborough threatening legal action.

Whatever the outcome of the votes, it is intended that the final promotion slot in both divisions will be decided by the normal play-off format, starting with a two-legged semi-final.

In normal circumstances, play-off matches across the three EFL divisions are scheduled in close proximity.

That will not be the case this season.

The Championship is likely to return about 20 June, with clubs set to start contact training on Monday if they meet the criteria in their protocols and complete the appropriate risk assessments.

The Championships play-offs would then take place in late July with the final - potentially - at the beginning of August, meaning clubs will need to agree the use of short-term contract extensions for those players whose deals expire on 30 June, as the Premier League has done.

However, even though all the clubs involved are keen for the League One and Two play-offs to be completed, they also have a significant number of players whose contracts expire on 30 June.

The EFL is mindful of the decisions that need to be made about retaining or releasing players in a period in which fans are not allowed in stadiums, and the major adverse impact that has on club budgets.

As a result it plans to hold the League One and Two play-offs as soon as practically possible to avoid a negative impact on the four clubs taking part in the play-offs, particularly the three that do not gain promotion.

It is still anticipated all three finals will be played at Wembley.

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