Championship clubs reveal FURY at next season’s fixture pile-up due to Qatar World Cup, with second-tier sides facing prospect of playing 24 matches in just 105 days
- Sportsmail have seen the fixture plans for the 2022-23 Championship season
- The season will stop on November 12 for the World Cup and resume in December
- This will see Championship clubs play 24 matches in the space of 105 days
- The campaign will finish as normal on May 6 – the usual bank holiday end date
- But second tier clubs are furious with the EFL for the workload on the players
Championship clubs are outraged at proposals that would see them play up to 24 matches in 105 days to accommodate the World Cup next season.
Sportsmail has seen plans that would require second-tier sides to complete 21 league matches and potentially three League Cup clashes after a shortened summer break in the first part of a congested campaign that would start on July 30 and end on November 12.
Clubs would return to action on December 10, when the Qatar World Cup is at the quarter-final stage, before completing the 46-match league season, as normal, on May 6.
Championship clubs are livid about having to play 24 matches in 105 days next season due to the World Cup
The 2022 World Cup plans sees the season stop on November 10 and resume on December 10
It is thought the EFL want to finish on that date to allow them to stage the lucrative play-off finals over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The Premier League are likely to start their 38-game season on August 6 and end it a week later than usual, in late May. Officials at several Championship sides have blasted the plans.
‘The 46-game season and all the cup matches that come with it is brutal,’ said one Championship executive. ‘Last season, albeit thanks to Covid, was the worst we have experienced. We thought we would never see anything worse and yet here we are with these proposals that can only be described as madness.
‘Players are shattered from last season and now we want to shorten the summer break and cram it into a normal end-date? Why not extend the season? It doesn’t make sense.’
The Championship season is still to end on May 6 as planned due to the bank holiday weekend
The PFA are thought to be in the dark over the plans and have not been consulted. But among the issues players have raised are the number of games to be played and a shorter summer break.
An EFL spokesperson said: ‘The league has been in consultation with its clubs over the past two years as we seek to find the most sensible and practical solutions to the calendar for next season.’
Meanwhile, the EFL say talks are ongoing with Derby over the club’s punishment for breaching financial regulations.
Agreement over a 12-point penalty — with three points suspended until next season — has been reached, but discussions continue over the accompanying financial plan.