What £935m deal will mean for Stoke City in EFL shake-up

Million Manhoef celebrates his first goal for Stoke City, coming in a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion.
Stoke City will be shown live on television at least 24 times next season. -Credit:Jess Hornby/Getty Images

Stoke City might have only just been able to take a deep breath as they drew the curtain down on the 2023/24 season - but the fixtures for 2024/25 will be out next month.

Stoke have ended a challenging campaign with three successive wins and clean sheets to sit in 17th, with growing optimism about the future under Steven Schumacher and Jon Walters, provided they can nail recruitment during the summer transfer window.

The EFL has confirmed that the new fixture list will be announced on Wednesday, June 26 at 9am. It will be published live on StokeonTrentLive. Sky Sports will confirm television selections for August and September in early July and the rest of the picks up until January before the start of the season.

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The Championship campaign will start on the weekend of August 10 and all opening matches in the EFL will be shown live on television. They can still kick-off at 3pm that Saturday because the traditional blackout rule does not apply on a weekend when there is no scheduled Premier League action.

At least 24 Stoke matches will be shown live on Sky, including all mid-week matches, games on Boxing Day, New Year's Day at Easter and on the final day. All Carabao Cup ties will be on TV too. Televised games will be shown on Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes.

The new five-year deal with Sky that will overhaul the football calendar is worth £935 million. That is £895m in rights fees and £40m in what has been described as "additional marketing benefits". It is £60m per season more than the previous agreement and, the EFL claims, will mean Championship clubs are "46 per cent better off".

Premier League clubs are guaranteed about £100m largely due to their broadcast deals but it is a chasm to the Championship. Stoke recorded income of £9.25m from television and media in their latest accounts, up from £8.95m the previous year. Even an extra 46 per cent will not make much of a dent in the disparity between the top two divisions, although financial rules are so tight that any extra income is a blessing.

Stoke season ticket holders have until Friday, May 17 to secure their existing seat for 2024/25. Tickets in the south stand - which is being reconfigured to accommodate home supporters, with licensed standing installed across the upper section - are currently available to fans who have been required to change seats due to the changes. General sale starts on Monday, June 10.

There will be 46 rounds of league matches, held over 33 weekends, nine mid-weeks and four Bank Holidays in the Championship. Leagues One and Two will play on 36 weekends and six mid-weeks.

The League Cup and Football League Trophy will continue with the same formats from this season. The Carabao Cup will launch in mid-August. The play-off finals, meanwhile, will take place over the 2025 May Bank Holiday weekend.

  • Fixture release day – Wednesday 26th June 2024, 9am

  • Start date – Weekend of August 10th-11th 2024

  • Carabao Cup first round – August 13th-14th 2024

  • Carabao Cup final – Sunday 16th March 2025

  • Season end - Saturday 3rd May 2025

  • Play-off final weekend – May 24th-26th 2025

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