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Gillingham manager Steve Evans is hoping this is the week the EFL give clubs a date to plan for a new season

Gillingham are hoping this is the week they finally get clarity on when the 2020/21 season can begin.

The EFL are understood to have been discussing a potential start date this week and that’s key to the Gills and those players awaiting firm contract offers.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans needs a date to plan towards
Gillingham manager Steve Evans needs a date to plan towards

A mid-September return is what most are expecting and once an announcement is made the Gills can then decide how and when to spend their money.

Gillingham don’t want to be spending on wages when there is no football on the horizon. It’s meant several players are being asked to hold tight.

Midfielder Regan Charles-Cook has already departed, joining Scottish Premier League side Ross County on a two-year deal, while Bristol Rovers are keen to take Gills captain Max Ehmer.

Evans said: “Once we have the dates for the new season we can go straight to work, we can go straight to proceeding with offers and up until that time we have been asking players to be a little patient.

“Max knows what we think of him and hopefully he has the patience to wait a few more days.

“I have spoken to six or seven managers, not just in League 1, but in the Championship. They are playing the season out and as soon as that finishes they will want a date because that is when you can plan. From the date we can plan.

“Everyone is talking mid-September but there needs to be some gumption to set some dates and then we will work to a plan.”

Ehmer has played 250 games for the Gills and Evans would love to see him stay.

Evans said: “Max told me himself that Bristol Rovers have shown an interest but I think Max Ehmer would like to stay at Gillingham. I think he will be waiting to see what is said by the EFL about when the season is starting, whether we can come to a deal with him.

“We have never hidden in, we love working with him, we loved Regan too.

“Our chairman is having to make some tough decisions at the minute. He says he would love to be signing some of the players that I have spoken to him about but we have to just make sure that we know the date we are coming back.

“The fortunate thing is we are not sitting here with 22-23 players on our books that need to be paid without football, we have seven or eight and they are cost effective.

“This date is pivotal and as soon as that happens I am sure they or their representatives will be sitting infront of our chairman and we will try our best to do a deal. If we don’t do a deal we will go and find players who are equal or better, that’s our job.”

Speaking about the departure of Charles-Cook, Evans said: “Regan almost went to Ross County back in January, they came in for him, they were really keen to take him but the boy decided not to go at that time.

“He tells me one of his best mates on the planet is up there as well, the goalkeeper from Chelsea (Nathan Baxter).

“We would have liked to have kept him but we understand that young man has a decision to make for his career and earnings. We wish him well. I have told him a bit abut Ross County and some of the players and management and we look forward to seeing him back in Gillingham, whether that’s coming to watch a game when they are not playing, he is always welcome.

“It’s a beautiful part of the country. He will get the extremes up there. Some of the sights he will see are not to be forgotten, wonderful, but some of the cold weather he will never have experienced.

“He is joining a good club, a good chairman I am led to believe and I certainly know Fergie (Steven Ferguson), the chief exec up there and he is a great guy. We wish Regan every success and we move on to our own business.”

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