Sunderland Echo

Make it a date! Key moments in Cats’ calendar moving forward

- Joe Nicholson Football Writer @joe_nicholson9­6

Sunderland’s season came to an end following their playoff defeat at Luton Town last week - with the club now preparing for the 2023/24 campaign.

Here are some key dates for Black Cats’ supporters to be aware of as we head into the summer months...

When does the transfer window open?

The window will officially open for English clubs on Saturday, June 10, and close on Friday, September 1.

Clubs can agree a transfer earlier than June 10 but the deal will not become official, and the player won’t be able to join their new club, until the window reopens.

Players who are not under contract at another club can be signed anytime. Clubs can also sign players who are free

agents after the deadline.

When are next season’s fixtures released?

EFL fixtures for the 2023/24 season will be released on Thursday, June 22 at 9am.

The 24 Championsh­ip teams will be confirmed after the upcoming bank holiday weekend, with the play-off final between Luton and Coventry City taking place on Saturday, May 27 (4:45pm kick-off ).

The final day of the Premier League season will take place a day later on Sunday, before the League One playoff final on Monday, May 29.

When are Sunderland’s pre-season friendlies?

Sunderland have confirmed they will play two pre-season friendlies against North East sides South Shields (12:30pm) and Gateshead (4pm) on Saturday, July 8.

The Black Cats will then fly out to America for a pre-season tour on Wednesday, July 12 and play three friendly matches overseas.

Sunderland will face San Antonio FC on Saturday, July 15, before heading to New Mexico to play New Mexico United on Wednesday, July 19.

Their final game abroad will be played on Friday, July 21 against North Carolina FC.

When does the season start?

The new Championsh­ip season will begin on the weekend starting Saturday, August 5, while there will probably be a televised match on Friday, August 4.

Less than a week later the Carabao Cup will get under way on the week commencing August 7.

Looking further ahead, the 2024 Championsh­ip playoff final is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 26.

*Abdoullah Ba has reflected on Sunderland's "rollercoas­ter" season in a social media post to supporters.

The 19-year-old French midfielder joined the Black Cats last summer on a bumper five-year deal from Le Harve.

Since his arrival, Ba has made 31 appearance­s in all competitio­ns for the club and netted the winning goal away at Norwich City earlier this season.

Sunderland ended up reaching the play-offs but, following the end of the regular campaign, lost to Luton Town over two legs and missed out on the chance to play Coventry City in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Taking to Instagram, Ba told Sunderland fans: "What a very special first season in England. Hope you enjoyed as much as we did on the pitch. Proper rollercoas­ter but no regret, we will come back stronger (but first let us catch a break). Can’t wait to see you guys again, thanks for the incredible support everywhere."

 ?? ?? Open Calendar app: Tony Mowbray, with Mark Venus.
Open Calendar app: Tony Mowbray, with Mark Venus.
 ?? ?? Abdoullah Ba.
Abdoullah Ba.
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