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Three Championship clubs accept defeat in bid to scrap season as June 20 return agreed

At least three rebel clubs bowed to the will of the majority on Sunday night – as the Championship announced it would be starting again on June 20.

The Championship’s clubs decided by an ‘overwhelming majority’ to return in the same week as the Premier League.

But Express Sport can reveal that as many as three teams, including Hull City – who publicly announced their wish for the league to end – found themselves outvoted in talks over the weekend.

The EFL said in a statement last night: “Following Saturday’s announcement by the Government to allow elite sporting events to return behind closed doors, the EFL has agreed to a provisional restart date of the weekend of 20 June 2020 for matches in the Sky Bet Championship.”

The Championship is set to conclude with the Play-Off Final on or around 30 July.

The Championship will also consider changing regulations to permit the use of five substitutes in the remaining games, and also increasing match-day squads from 18 to 20 players.

EFL clubs are due to meet on June 8 again to decide on the mechanism to scrap the divisions, should there be another peak in the COVID-19 pandemic.

EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “With Championship Clubs set to return to full contact training later this week and following Saturday’s Government announcement, we are edging closer towards resuming the season.

“We have consulted with the Board’s Championship Directors and agreed to fixtures restarting behind closed doors on 20 June.

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“Whilst matches will unfortunately have to take place without supporters, we are working with our broadcast partners, clubs and all relevant stakeholders to broadcast the remaining 108 games plus play-offs either live on Sky Sports, iFollow or a Club’s equivalent streaming service.”

One Championship chief executive told Express Sport: “There were certainly two and possibly three clubs that wanted the season ended. 

“There was not unanimity among clubs about starting again.”

A majority of 51 per cent of votes were needed to curtail the season within a division.

Hull vice chairman Ehab Allam has stated twice that he wants the season to be curtailed. Two other clubs were believed to be against a restart.

Currently in the relegation danger zone in the Championship are Barnsley, Luton and Charlton.

But hovering just above it, all of them only two points clear, are Hull, Wigan and Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough had said prior to the vote that they wanted the season to finish.

The EFL have said that the principle of relegation across all three division is integral to the integrity of the pyramid.

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If any EFL seasons are curtailed, they will be decide on an unweighted points per game system.

League Two clubs have unanimously said they want their season to be curtailed, while League One clubs have yet to decide.

Ten Championship players and staff meanwhile tested positive after the latest round of 1058 tests at the end of last week, making 15 in all after the first three rounds.

Players from Fulham, Middlesbrough, Cardiff and Preston – forward Jayden Stockley – have confirmed cases.

Though the majority of clubs still want to restart, the increase in positive tests has caused concerns to grow over a possible delay.

Further tests are set to go ahead this week and all 24 Championship clubs will vote on Monday whether to begin full contact training.

The Premier League announced zero positive results from their latest round of 1,130 tests. The English top-flight will return on June 17.

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