EFL decision affects Preston North End, Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, QPR and Watford

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North End still have more than a quarter of the season left but details for the 2024/25 Championship schedule has been released.

Preston North End have received their start and finish date for the 2024/25 season, should they be playing in the Championship. 

North End, along with the likes of Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, QPR and the other 24 Championship clubs were told by EFL bosses on Wednesday (January 24) that the campaign will begin on the weekend of August 10/11, 2024. The 2024/25 campaign will end on Saturday, May 3, 2025.

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The usual 46 game fixture schedule will be played across 33 weekends with nine rounds of midweek fixtures, as well as four Bank Holiday’s. No changes will be made to the format of the Carabao Cup. It had been suggested that there could be a decision to scrap the two-legged play-offs in the semi-final but that will remain. 

The 2024/25 season is the first of a new five-year broadcasting deal with Sky Sports which is worth £935m. A minimum of 328 Championship matches will be broadcast, as well as all 93 Carabao Cup ties. Every weekend there will be 10 live games shown with five from the Championship.

EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch said to the official website: “Whilst the fixture calendar remains a shared asset across the EFL, Premier League and Football Association, additional pressures from revamped European competitions means that scheduling across the season remains challenging and complex, so it requires a whole game response to find a solution.

“As it stands there is no agreement in place to make any changes to the Carabao Cup’s two-legged semi-final format, which continues to provide significant financial benefit to EFL Clubs.

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“The League remains committed to a review of the calendar, but any significant changes cannot be made unilaterally, and would need to come with significant levels of compensation and adopted as part of any new distribution deal with the Premier League and its Clubs."

North End have an outside chance of reaching the 2023/24 Championship play-offs and are five points off of sixth-placed Coventry City. An optimistic Lilywhites fan could say that Premier League football at Deepdale is still a possibility but Ryan Lowe’s side will have to go on a good run of form and are in competition with several other teams.

In that case, the Premier League start date is a week later than the Championship, beginning on August 17, 2024. English football’s top-flight will conclude on May 25, 2025.

To cover all bases, a pessimistic North End fan could tip them for relegation despite their current position of 12th in the standings. The 2024/25 League One campaign begins at the same time of the Championship however.

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