Carlisle United will be back in league action from September 12 after the EFL confirmed a date for the start of the new season.

It was announced yesterday that the 2020-21 top flight and EFL campaigns will commence on that date, but it is understood the full domestic calendar is not expected to be confirmed until the third week of August.

And Premier League clubs hope to have trialled spectators in stadiums before then.

Spectators will be allowed into a sporting event for the first time since the suspension of mass gatherings in March this weekend when 500 people attend day one of Surrey's cricket friendly against Middlesex on Sunday.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has spoken previously about a desire to be "guinea pigs" in the return of supporters amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it is understood clubs are keen to invite a limited number of spectators to pre-season matches over the summer.

A wider return of spectators on a socially-distanced basis to sporting events is set to occur from October 1.

While a season end date has been fixed - May 23 for the Premier League and May 8 and 9 for the EFL regular season - there are a host of calendar issues still to be resolved over the next few weeks.

The Sky Bet Play-Off Finals will revert back to the Spring Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.

It has been reported that Premier League clubs want FA Cup third and fourth-round replays to be scrapped, and for ties to be played in midweek.

Fitting in the autumn rounds of the Carabao Cup could also be problematic, with the Champions League and Europa League group stages set to be played in every available midweek slot from the week beginning October 19 until the week beginning December 7. The only break will come in mid-November, the period set aside for international fixtures.

English clubs playing in Europe already receive a bye to the third round of the Carabao Cup, but further allowances may need to be made in order for these sides to compete on both fronts.

The September 12 start date means the EFL season will begin behind closed doors, despite the reliance of clubs at that level on matchday revenue.

Work is currently underway in respect of fixture scheduling and details will be announced in due course as to when full fixture lists for 2020/21 will be made available.

Carlisle's director of football David Holdsworth wished three players well who were moving on from the club.

On the offers made to Jack Bridge, Gethin Jones and Byron Webster, he told the club website: “All three lads have decided their futures are elsewhere.

“That’s fine, we’re comfortable with that. We made our offers because the manager wanted to keep them here for next season, but you always accept that a player may choose to take a different route.

“There are never any bad feelings when that becomes the case and we wish them all the very best with whatever they go on to do next.”